In the chaos of the pre-season, player acquisitions and filling the remaining holes on the roster, some may forget that FC Dallas has a defender named George John, you may have heard of him. It's crazy to think that one of the most dominant center backs in the league over the last two years is kind of an afterthought to an FC Dallas team that has added two new center backs in the offseason.
George has, unfortunately, failed to even get on the gameday roster for a game as the Hammers ended up signing James Tompkins to a new contract rather than selling him, while other circumstances, like the Saturday afternoon game being canceled due to froze pitch, keeping John from working his way into a crowded fixture schedule. Has Big Sam been impressed enough with him in training to splash the cash on the defender?
While I'm sure MLS, FC Dallas and John himself would probably prefer that the Hammers end up paying his transfer fee, if they choose not to then John returns to FC Dallas just days before the season starts. So what's going to happen? I talked to a source very close to the situation yesterday and the fact of the matter is that no one knows right now how things will play out. It's looking like things are 50-50 at this point and literally anything could happen between now and the March 5 deadline. Let's take a look at the possible scenarios.
West Ham chooses to purchase John's rights The best scenario for everyone involved from FC Dallas' standpoint. George John is absolutely a professional and I don't see there being any problems from a locker room standpoint if he returns, however I'm sure MLS would love to get the cash from the transfer, FCD would love the allocation and GJ would love the bump in salary. It's a win-win from all standpoints.
George John returns and plays the season out with Dallas It's never a problem to have too many options at a position and while John may not start opening day, I can't see a scenario where he sits on the bench if he's available for the season. Hernan Pertuz has looked good, but he's not the proven option that George John is and Matt Hedges is still a bit green to be considered for starts. George is a professional and great locker room guy so I wouldn't anticipate any sort of problems with him re-integrating into the squad for a final run at MLS Cup.
Should George John spend the season with Dallas, the Red Stripes would have an incredibly deep center back stable, though he would probably leave at the end of the season for nothing which is not a palatable option.
George John returns to MLS and is traded This is, perhaps, the most interesting option of the three. While teams would know that they'd be acquiring a player that is likely gone at the end of the season, you've got to think Schellas could find that backup forward or right midfield option he's been searching for by shopping John around the league to a team that thinks they may be able to convince him to sign a new contract. I can't see Hyndman trading John to a Western Conference opponent, but there's plenty of teams in the East that would love to add a center back of John's caliber.
So what will happen with the situation? As I said earlier, no one knows. We'll just have to see how things shake out in the next couple of weeks.