George John will be playing for FC Dallas in 2012, after all. The centerback's loan spell at West Ham ended without a permanent contract offer, meaning he'll likely play out the final year of his MLS contract before seeking a more permanent situation.
"We’re very excited to have a player of George John’s caliber return to our team," FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said in a team release. "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."
Although clearly not the situation John was hoping for, this has to be seen as a positive for FC Dallas. Now with John, they go from a team with significant question marks on defense to one that could be quite deep. Chances are John won't immediately step into the starter's role, as he has missed the entirety of preseason, but he is one of the league's top centerbacks and should be able to reclaim that spot relatively quickly.
Longer term, it's now more clear than ever that John does not see himself as having a future with FC Dallas. This was the second time in less than a year that a transfer to England has fallen through. Previously, he was close to joining Blackburn but he never actually got to the point of training with them. This time, he was able to train with West Ham for about two months, although he was always facing an uphill battle as West Ham is currently at the top of the English Championship table and has solid players at centerback.
"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."
For more on John's situation, be sure to check out FC Dallas blog Big D Soccer.