It was the story of the summer around FC Dallas. For the third time in four seasons(Juan Toja 2008, Kenny Cooper 2009), it looked like FCD was having to sell one of their most important players in the middle of the year as English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers put in a bid reportedly around $2 million for the services of George John. The deal was about as close to completion as it gets with John traveling to England and taking a physical with the Premier League side.
It's not known exactly why the deal fell apart, there were rumors that he failed a physical or perhaps they hand another sale fall through that would have given them the money to afford John. For whatever reason, the deal did fall through and John returned, somewhat sheepishly, to FC Dallas for the stretch run.
John joined the club in his native Seattle for the US Open Cup semifinal which the team lost to the Sounders. FCD would go 2-9-1 in the remaining competitive games after John returned to the squad and Buzz Carrick at 3rd Degree says that the way Dallas dealt with this whole episode was the worst coaching move of the season.
Personally, I wouldn't go that far as I believe the offensive problems were the biggest contributing factor to the late-season collapse, but the fact remains that a Dallas defense that pitched 6 shutouts in 8 games during July had just one after the return of John. He couldn't regain his early season form and neither could the rest of the Dallas defense.
Will George John leave this off season? It's probably a discussion for a later date as we get closer to the opening of the transfer window, but I find it very likely that the big Greek defender is sold on to England before the 2012 season with Wigan, Everton and Blackburn looking the most likely destinations. Would you(or Schellas) even want him back next year? He left the team quite abruptly in the middle of a very good run leaving a thin backline even more depleted.
Whatever happens, this transfer episode is one that affected the season in a huge way.
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