It was announced this afternoon that George John will be heading back to FC Dallas for the 2012 season. John was unable to break through to the West Ham first team and returns to Dallas after two months in London. I wouldn't be too worried about how he integrates back into the squad as John and Ugo Ihemelu are certainly familiar with each other. It will be interesting to see if John steps in on opening day or if they work him back in slowly. While I'm sure FCD and MLS would have loved the money, FC Dallas now will be returning the exact backline that led them to MLS Cup 2010.
Jump for the press release from FCD with quotes from John & Schellas
FC Dallas defender George John is set to return to FC Dallas following a two-month loan with English Championship side West Ham United.
“We’re very excited to have a player of George John’s caliber return to our team,” said FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman. “He has been one of our most consistent players. Without question, FC Dallas is a better team with George John. In speaking with George, he’s very excited to rejoin our team and help FC Dallas compete for a return trip to MLS Cup.”
The young center back will be available for First Kick 2012, Sunday, March 11 versus the New York Red Bulls at FC Dallas Stadium.
“I’m glad I had this opportunity and experience, and I want to thank MLS, FC Dallas and West Ham,” said John. “Right now I’m really looking forward to getting back to Dallas. I’ve been in touch with Schellas and I’m ready to get to work.”
Drafted by FC Dallas in the first round (14th overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, John made his professional debut on April 4, 2009. The 24-year old center back scored his first career goal on Oct. 17, 2009 in a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. John finished his rookie season with 16 appearances and 1,162 minutes played.
West Ham United elected not to turn the loan into a transfer based on their club’s current top-of-the-table success and the current form of the club’s two starting center backs.
“It was unfortunate that I didn’t get to play, but it really was understandable given the circumstances,” said John, who scored a goal in his first Reserve game with the English side. “I hope West Ham continues its good form and gets back to the Premier League. That’s certainly where the club belongs.”
John started 31 regular season matches for FC Dallas in 2011, accumulating a career-high 2,781 minutes played. Only goalkeeper Kevin Hartman (2,970) logged more minutes for Dallas in MLS competition. John scored three goals and added one assist. He also finished eighth in the 2011 MLS Castrol Index, which analyzes player performance throughout the season.
A native of Shoreline, WA, John logged 25 starts and 2,138 minutes played during the 2010 season. His lone goal of the year was a timely one, coming in FC Dallas’ 3-0 win over the L.A. Galaxy in the Western Conference Semifinal. John’s presence on FC Dallas’ backline helped the team set a franchise record for fewest goals allowed in a season.