Western Conference Notes: John’s Greek interest, Beckham out for SJ and more

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By ADAM SERRANO

Could another American be interested joining a different national team other than the United States?

FC Dallas defender George John recently trained with the Greek national team prior to Greece's friendly with Ecuador in New York earlier this month. John, who many say should get a shot with the U.S. national team, did not participate in January's U.S. training camp due to a groin injury. He admitted following his club's victory over Chivas USA on Saturday that he was impressed by Greece. 

"I talked to the coaches, and it was a real fun experience," said John, a second-generation Greek-American who holds dual citizenship. "Hopefully I get an opportunity with them in the future, them or the United States." 

One Dallas player whose national team position is much more secure is Fabian Castillo, who was named to Colombia's preliminary squad for next month's FIFA U-20 World Cup, for which his country is the host. Castillo has joined the Colombia U-20s for a training camp and won't be with FC Dallas for the next few weeks.

More news from around the Western Conference is after the jump:

CHIVAS USA

Chivas USA has tailed off in the last few weeks after going unbeaten in the month of April. Central to this has been a great deal of change in the normally stable Chivas USA backline.

In the last five matches, Chivas USA have changed their backline repeatedly, but the lone constant has been Heath Pearce, the converted left back, who has now playing a central defense for the Rojiblancos. 

COLORADO RAPIDS

Ejections can be learning experiences for players and Colorado forward Caleb Folan is no different. The Irish forward was sent off for a costly foul against the LA Galaxy last week, but admitted that he believes that experiences like this are only proving to help his development and transition to MLS. 

L.A. GALAXY

Bruce Arena announced that it was unlikely that David Beckham will be making the trip when the Galaxy take on the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday. Beckham has dealt with back spasms since last week and missed last week's trip to Colorado. 

The Galaxy also announced that it re-signed A.J. DeLaGarza to a multi-year contract. The defender has come into his own this season, starting 16 of the Galaxy's 18 games this year playing mostly in central defense.

PORTLAND TIMBERS

The Timbers may welcome back Futty Danso this week in their match up against FC Dallas. Head coach Jon Spencer told The Oregonian that Danso will be a game-time decision for Portland ahead of its match against Dallas.

Danso has been out since June 11 when he suffered a separated shoulder in a 1-0 loss to the Rapids. The defender practiced on Thursday and just one week ago told reporters that he planned to return early from his injury. 

REAL SALT LAKE

Real Salt Lake was able to earn a draw on Wednesday night against the Chicago Fire despite another injury to a major clog in the team's offense. Fabian Espindola was injured in the seventh minute and was forced to leave the match.

The injury to Espindola only compounds the troubles that have plagued RSL recently with Javier Morales out with a broken ankle, Alvaro Saborio and Arturo Alvarez away on international duty, RSL has been forced to rely on unproven players like Collen Warner and Artur Aghysan to boost their struggling attack. 

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

San Jose is ready for one of its biggest games of the year on Saturday when it hosts archrival Los Angeles. The Quakes have been doing well as of late despite the absences of Chris Wondolowski and Ryan Johnson to international duty and Ike Opara to injury. Central to that success has been Steven Lenhart, who has impressed with Wondolowski away with the United States.

The Quakes will get a boost this week as Johnson will return to action after duty with the Jamaican national team. 

SEATTLE SOUNDERS

The Seattle Sounders are searching for reinforcements and may get one from injury within a month.

The team announced that forward O'Brian White is around 3-to-4 weeks away from returning from a blood clot injury that nearly ended his career. In addition, the team has welcomed several new trialists including Gianfranco Di Julio, a 24-year-old Venezuelan midfielder, and Cordell Cato, an 18-year-old midfielder from Trinidad and Tobago.  

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS

Who is the real Eric Hassli? Is he a goal scoring dynamo or the careless player who has picked up three red cards this season?

In recent weeks, we're starting to believe that the former is true. The Whitecaps Designated Player has become extremely effective in the last weeks helping a Vancouver team that had been struggling. In response to his run of form, his teammates have rallied behind him stating that he will be central to the team's planned success. 

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26 Responses to Western Conference Notes: John’s Greek interest, Beckham out for SJ and more

  1. B Simpson says:

    Wow, that leaves RSL with their Top 4 Strikers out of action. My, how the mighty have fallen…

  2. Ben says:

    Ok, while I didn’t like the Rossi thing, at least I understand the draw of Italy, but Greece? They had their one shining moment and it’s not happening again for awhile. He isn’t even first generation.

  3. Jack says:

    With Onyewu struggling, John would be a nice, phycical guy to look at….Underrated

  4. Jose says:

    Big reason why FCD made it to the Cup last year

  5. jonk says:

    There’s not a lot in need of deep understanding. He got offered a chance to train with Greece while they were in the US. He took them up on the offer. Now he’s very diplomatically saying all the right things about wanting to play internationally for whoever wants him. The difference with him and Rossi, (aside from the fact that Rossi was always very clear in wanting to play for Italy) is that George John is not at the same level as Rossi and if he plays for Greece it might impact our depth, but that’s about it.

  6. Ben says:

    where did I say there was a need for deep understanding? I’m questioning, perhaps in too oblique fashion, the coquettery of someone, who has rather tenuous connections to another country, with another national team. He has been called into the US camp, then goes an bats his eyes at the Greeks, which I think is crap. This is being diplomatic in the sense of trying to assuage everyone. This is diplomatic in the sense of trying to play two other parties against each other, and as a US fan, I am expressing my disapproval, for whatever that is worth, about it.

  7. Ben says:

    -this isn’t being diplomatic in the sense of trying to assuage-

  8. argh says:

    People are still pissed about Rossi and it’s understandable. Best American player ever produced and at an early age decides to play for Italy. He didn’t lead us on or anything. He did it for his family. Get over it people. I personally believe you should play for the country you were born in/raised in. But it’s up to every individual.

    John is an American. Just cause his grandparents were Greek shouldn’t mean he play for their NT? Perhaps he is interested in the chance at playing at Euro 2012 or even moving to a European club but I doubt he could achieve more success with Greece than with the USA?

  9. jonk says:

    I guess I was responding to “at least I understand the draw of Italy, but Greece?”
    He has Greek heritage, even if he is 2nd generation. As a white male completely ignorant of my European ancestry, I’ve never felt the kind of historical ties 2nd generation immigrants feel in regard to family or culture, but I can still sympathize with it, I guess.
    Anyway, I don’t register disapproval mainly just ’cause he’s a marginal talent and he merely trained with them at their request.

  10. boosted335 says:

    lol @ the absolute ignorance of the US soccer community in reference to John.

    He is clearly beyond MLS and unlike our other “hopefuls” he needs to be playing Internationally not for “seasoning” but because he isn’t challenged here.

    Dont believe me? find or create a video of George John getting beat 1v1 or being “lost” on a play leading to a goal and post it. IMPOSSIBLE

    LAST SEASONS PLAYOFFS:

    He had MOTM performance vs RSL in 2nd leg 1st round

    He had MOTM performance (+goal) vs LA in Semi Finals.

    He put in a MOTM level performance VS. CO in MLS Cup (no deflection -however costly- can void that).

    He even put in a MOTM performance vs. Sam Et’eo and Inter Milan.

    ALL WERE BIG GAMES….ALL WERE HIS BEST GAMES

    He’s ranked in the top10 for the Castrol rankings since it started this year

    He gets absolute crap service from corners and free kicks but still has a goal and has also earned both Ricketts and Rimando save of the week nominations for saving his attempts. He has at least two excellent “hockey” assists to his credit this year yet Tim Ream is the leading vote getter (CB) for the all-star game and John ISN’T EVEN IN THE RUNNING. What a joke.

  11. Idaho Brian says:

    I would like to see John in the US pool…I think he would provided some underated depth at CB. However, if he does choose Greece for his international career I don’t think it will have the same negative impact as with Rossi or Subotic.

  12. MensreaJim says:

    John’s in a tough spot. I believe he makes ~$40K a year and he also just watched Tim Ream make a bunch of big starts. As an FCD fan I don’t see Ream’s superiority, but at the same time I understand that John’s injury made it difficult for Bradley to scout John in house like he was able to with Ream. That’s the breaks.

    John is not a marginal talent. He is a top-flight CB, a position we have some troubles at right now. I would hate to lose him, he is a terrific athlete and a very smart defender. However, he has struggled mightily with injuries and that has to make teams think twice about splurging on him.

  13. Tim M. says:

    George John is not only a terrific defender, but a terrific soccer player. He’s more agile and mobile then Omar Gonzalez and more physically imposing then Tim Ream.

    Gooch and Bornstein both need to be dropped from the national team set up as of now.

  14. abc says:

    CBs not as good as George John:
    Tim Ream
    Omar Gonzalez
    Chad Marshall
    Jay DeMerit
    Oguchi Onyewu

    CBs better than George John:
    Clarence Goodson
    Carlos Bocanegra

    Considering Bocanegra is getting old and in decline, why have we not capped John yet??

  15. boosted335 says:

    1 Spain

    2 Netherlands

    3 Brazil

    4 Germany

    5 Argentina

    6 England

    7 Uruguay

    8 Portugal

    9 Italy *

    10 Croatia

    11 Norway

    12 Greece *

    13 Chile

    14 Japan

    15 Ghana

    16 Serbia

    17 Slovenia

    18 Russia

    19 France

    20 Australia

    21 Côte d’Ivoire

    22 USA *

  16. Bert says:

    and the best playmaker in the league. The curse of De Nigris…

  17. argh says:

    John is 24. Brings something to the team. We’ll need him for 2014. Our only effective starting centerbacks are Goodson and Bocanegra. And Boca will be too old come 2012 much less 2014. Gooch may never become what he once was. Marshall had his chance. DeMerit is too old. Gonzalez and Ream still need time to grow into a centerback. So let’s give John a chance.

  18. AL17 says:

    The same FIFA ranking that has France, Chile, Russia, Ghana and the USA ranked below Greece?

    Ummmm….mmm yeah, ok

    Look, I like what he said and he sounds like he’s going to advantage of the best opportunity for him. Personally, I’d prefer him to play for the USA but if it’s not an option, why not?

    Nice to continue readining about US players being wooed or trying to be wooed away by other National Teams and it has to do with opportunities being available. It’s an indication that we’re doing something right when it comes to developing young talent.

  19. GW says:

    How about looking at it this way.

    There is a really hot girl you want and is friendly with you but seems to have a lot of other guys interested and she doesn’t ever call you on weekends.

    Suddenly, there is another hot girl, maybe not as hot but close, who tells you you are the greatest thing since cat litter and is always calling you and inviting you to these great places and all your friends tell you she is hot for you.

    What are you going to do?

  20. GW says:

    Call it the Holden syndrome, bad timing with injuries.

  21. boosted335 says:

    1st vid: You do realize Zach Loyd is NOT George John lol try again

    2nd vid: CONGRATS! In 2009 John missed a tackle and and was later caught out in no mans land for a split second (albeit long enough to watch a one-time rebound goal) after Dario Sala (ahem) punches a shot right into the middle of the box.

    Contrast that body of “poor” work to that of Reams or Gonzalez* (*who I think is a hell of a player btw)

  22. marco says:

    John should have been selected and tagged USA by Bradley at this Gold Cup. There were some wasted, asinine selections made by Bob instead.

  23. EasyEB says:

    John better than Gonzalez? That is hilarious!

  24. abc says:

    Right now, yeah.

  25. stephenb says:

    Yup, he is. (x2)