George John will get his chance to perform in England, after all. The FC Dallas centerback has officially joined English Championship side West Ham United on a two-month loan that could turn into a full transfer if all goes well. John is currently scheduled to rejoin FC Dallas on March 5, but neither side seems intent on that happening.
"We will see how it goes," John was quoted as saying on West Ham's website. "Maybe it will take two or three weeks to give me some time to develop and get back in the swing of things. Hopefully it will be a bit faster but who knows. Hopefully I can impress and get some game time with the first team. I am really looking forward to it."
The Hammers are currently sitting in second in the Championship, which would earn them automatic promotion to the Premiership if that position holds. They are currently even on points with league leader Southampton but just two points clear of Cardiff City and Middlesbrough, who currently occupy third and fourth place, respectively.
No Championship team has allowed fewer goals than West Ham, but John is expected to be able to at least compete for minutes. He's unlikely to break into the starting XI anytime soon, but he could play some valuable minutes as a backup.
John would be leaving MLS after a relatively distinguished career. The 24-year-old has been one of the league's top centerbacks each of the past two seasons and played the most all-competition minutes of any FC Dallas outfield player last season. He recently earned his first call-up to the United States national team, but had to leave camp after the deal with West Ham emerged.
Assuming he stays in England, FC Dallas will have a sizable hole to fill. Ugo Ihemelu was John's most regular centerback partner and while numerous players currently on their roster have some experience there, none of them have played their extensively in MLS. Recently signed Colombian Hernan Pertuz will likely compete with recently drafted Matt Hedges for the chance to spell John.
For more insight into this move, check out FC Dallas blog Big D Soccer.