Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ambush's Klein Makes His Mark on Defense

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ambush's Klein Makes His Mark on Defense

Article excerpt

Ambush midfielder John Klein has come to expect a certain line of questioning when he meets someone new.

Yes, he attended Priory School. No, he's not related to the actor who attended Priory.

"They ask if Kevin Kline and I are brothers," said Klein, who senses that his star doesn't seem to burn as brightly after the bloodlines are sorted out.

Actually, that's probably as close to the spotlight as Klein wants to be. He's content to be part of the hard-working cast of supporting players that has made the Ambush one of the top teams in the National Professional Soccer League this year. They'll take on one of the other top teams, the Kansas City Attack, tonight at Kiel Center.

The book on Klein says he's a tireless two-way player who won't be a threat to win the scoring title in this lifetime.

"The big thing about John is that he works hard, up and down the field," Ambush player-coach Daryl Doran said. "He's a veteran you can count on in midfield.

"He still has his problems getting points, but I don't put a lot of emphasis on that."

Klein, who has a modest total of 11 goals and nine assists for 30 points, takes some ribbing on that score.

He says assistant coach Ike Bibas claims "the safest place to be on the field when I'm playing is in front of the goal.

"One time I put a left-footed shot into the upper deck like I did the other night and everybody remembers."

If Klein doesn't qualify as Big Foot of the soccer pitch, he could be The Stalker Who Wouldn't Go Away. Klein marks with a tenacity and vigor that only the most fit could duplicate.

"I'm the kind of player who goes out and gives every ounce of energy I have for my 45 seconds (per shift)," Klein said. "But I tell you what: When I come off, I'm huffing and puffing."

Klein, who turns 30 in April, believes he's slowed a couple of steps over the last four years as a professional. …

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