2016 Ranking: #21
Writer Rating: 4.93
Community Rating: 5.06
Signed with RSL: 2013
Appearances: 18 (9)
Goals / Assists: 0/1
John Stertzer joined Real Salt Lake in 2013 as an MLS rookie. In his first year he saw very limited time with the first team, appearing in just 2 games for RSL.
Since, he has seen more game minutes as a squad player in the midfield, normally coming off the bench as a sub. In 2016 Stertzer made 18 appearances starting in 9 of them, marking 1 assist in all competitions. A box to box midfielder, Stertzer competed for minutes against Luke Mulholland and Sunny Stephens.
Stertzer has had an injury riddled career with RSL. He spent most of his rookie year recovering from a shoulder injury during a reserve match in May of 2013. In 2014 he suffered a fractured tibia after 9 appearances with the first team — his season ending in August. 2015 was a year that looked to provide him with an opportunity to shine, and was the first year he would remain injury free during his career up to that point. He scored his first professional goal against an NYCFC side lead by his former coach, Jason Kreis.
In 2016 Stertzer languished somewhat, struggling to pry game minutes away from Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland, and Sunny. His assist this year to Yura was a beauty and shows what he could be capable of, but the lack of game time minutes and experience over his time here is noticeable.
With how the RSL midfield was set up this year (4-3-3) the battle for game time in those positions was a tough situation. Having players like Javier Morales and Kyle Beckerman ahead of you on the roster means you have to fight for the one remaining spot. Sadly, there wasn’t a lot of rotation seen with Luke or John playing next to Kyle after Sunny went down with an injury. A lot of John’s appearance came by way of late game substitutions, not giving him an opportunity to impact the match in any tangible way. After four seasons there seems to be an expectation for more from a player like Stertzer — an impact or a sense of contribution that seems to be lacking. With all the changes that are likely to happen in this offseason he is a player to keep an eye on as a potential move could be imminent.