Center back joins Hammers through March 5

– Defender George John has been loaned to English League Championship side West Ham United for two months, FC Dallas announced today. At the end of the two-month loan, West Ham will have the option to complete a full transfer for John. Per team and league policy, terms of the loan will not be disclosed.

“This is an opportunity for George to raise his play to another level,” said head coach Schellas Hyndman. “He has the opportunity to spend time with a club rich in tradition, playing in one of the top leagues as they work to earn a promotion back to the Premiership. I have no doubt we will see an even better center back at the end of this period.”

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. He recently earned his first call-up to the U.S. National Team by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann, but was unable to attend because of the pending loan to West Ham United.

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, Wash., 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.

John becomes the fifth American to sign for the club after John Harkes, Ian Feuer and Jonathan Spector, with compatriot Sebastian Lletget, an American Under-23 international, in the club’s development squad.

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