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ACSTL’s Dillon Barna: Wantin’ to be Like JT

Dillon Barna

AC St. Louis’ defender Dillon Barna admires the on-field play of JT, Chelsea’s long-time centerback, John Terry, one of the prime-time defenders in the English Premier League.   As Dillon says. ” The player I most want to be like is John Terry. The way he controls the aerial game and leads his squad is just amazing.  Man, I felt so terrible for him when he missed the pk to beat Man U in the Champions League final a few years ago. Watch some you tube videos of him and you’ll see why he’s the best. My support of John Terry does not necessarily translate to support of Chelsea, though. I can’t say I have any one soccer team I support completely.   I just like watching good games but will definitely be pulling for the U.S. this summer at the World Cup.”   Dillon may experience conflicting emotions on June 12th as the U.S. Mens  National team will meet John Terry and the England squad in South Africa in the opening games of the World Cup.

Dillon, 22, has already played against some of the teams John Terry regularly faces in the EPL. “My PDL coach, Graham Smith, was very well-connected and got me the opportunity to play in some really exciting games,  including facing English teams Everton and  Burnley, along with the Seattle Sounders, Real Salt lake, and Columbus Crew.”   Dillon played three summer seasons with the Ventura County Fusion of the PDL, and feels that experience was crucial.    ” My time with the Fusion was essential to my development,” declared Dillon.  ” I played with them for three years and steadily improved until this past summer when we won the National Championship. It kept me in shape while I was out of season and gave me the chance to play with and against some very talented players.”

Dillon is a Phoenix, Arizona native.  I questioned  him as to why he chose Westmont College, located in Santa Barbara, California.  He said that “I decided to attend Westmont College about five minutes after I stepped on campus.  All the guys were great, super competitive just like me but very supportive. Both the assistant coach and head coach Dave Wold  gave me the impression that they could teach me a lot about the sport and how to get the best out of myself. The program has a rich history and I just couldn’t wait to be a part of it. I met my best friends there and we talk all the time. Some of the greatest moments there were beating Azusa Pacific  (the conference powerhouse) in the regional tournament my sophomore year and getting to the National tournament my junior year. ”

I asked Dillon how he ended up with AC St. Louis, how the preseason has been going, and what he thinks of St. Louis.   Here are his replies.   ” I got involved with AC St. Louis at the Info Sports Combine in Sanford, Florida.  Francisco (Filho, Director of Player Development) approached me about playing and I  couldn’t believe it.   Practices have been going very well.  It’s always tough when you bring together a whole new group of guys but its amazing how fast we’ve gotten to know each other and really grown as a team.   St. Louis has been awesome so far. The people I’ve met have just been so nice and the city is really cool.  I can’t wait for our home opener to see what St. Louis thinks of us.”

So how does Dillon spend his time when he’s not on the field trying to be the next John Terry?    “As far as hobbies and interests, obviously I love soccer, but also just sports in general. Sports Center is an essential part of my day. Being from Phoenix, I keep a close eye on the Suns, Diamondbacks, and Cardinals, although I must admit I’m really looking forward to taking in my first game at Busch Stadium. I wonder if Albert Pujols is a soccer fan?  I love movies. Favorite of all time is a tie between ‘Gladiator’ and ‘The Dark Knight.’ ‘ Gladiator’, great actor, great director, and one of my favorite historical time periods.   An obvious winner.  Batman is my favorite super hero. He’s out there every night without any special powers keeping Gotham safe. Then you also have the greatest villain ever in the Joker, not to mention a sweet car. There are a ton more movies I could talk about.   I like video games, too.  Right now I’m hooked on Modern Warfare 2 on XBOX live. As far as TV shows I’ve got three top shows besides sports, ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Entourage’, and ‘Psych’. I really like getting outside, hiking, biking, and just cruising out checking out my new city. My music test is all over the map, I like all types of music but I always seem to end up listening to Lil Wayne, Johnny Cash, or Frank Sinatra.”

Finally, Dillon also wanted to mention his high school coach, Bryan Sabato, as someone who helped his career and most importantly, his parents, Mike and Carm Barna.  “They drove me to every game and were always in the stands,” he said.   ” They’ve always supported me and believed in me.  They are without a doubt the two best people I know.”

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