Friday, May 27, 2011

In non-USMNT USMNT news...

I get many sorts of press releases to my email box. Some are very interesting. This was one of those.

  • In a press conference in Athens today, Greek national team coach Fernando Santos named a 20-man squad for a UEFA EURO 2012 qualification match against Malta on June 4, 2011 at Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus and a friendly match against Ecuador on June 7, 2011 at Citi Field in New York, and announced that FC Dallas’ uncapped Greek-American central defender George John, 24, will join the squad in New York.

    John will participate in training, but will not appear in the match against Ecuador. Born and raised in Seattle, Wash., John is a second-generation Greek-American.

    John issued a statement through his agent, Ted Philipakos: "It is a tremendous honor to be invited to join the Greek national team. I would like to thank EPO (Hellenic Football Federation) president Sofoklis Pilavios, national team technical director Takis Fyssas and national team coach Fernando Santos for this opportunity. I am looking forward to meeting the team in New York. As a new player, I need to use that time to get to know the staff and the players."

    John’s statement also addressed his United States national team eligibility: "I am fully aware of FIFA statutes regarding international eligibility, and that I will remain eligible to represent the United States for at least the short term. If I receive an invitation from the U.S. national team, I will give it consideration at that time. It would not be appropriate for me to make any further comments about my international future. It is very important to me that I show respect to both EPO and U.S. Soccer."

    In December 2010, John was invited to the U.S. national team’s training camp in preparation for a friendly match against Chile on January 22, 2011, but at that time John was still recovering from minor off-season surgery to remove bone spurs in his ankle and as a result he was unable to attend camp.

    In the future, if John were to appear for Greece in any match not part of an official competition (e.g., a friendly match), he would be eligible to make a one-time switch to represent the United States. However, if John were to appear for Greece in an official competition (e.g., in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying), he would be permanently cap-tied to Greece.

And so on. Discuss.

- Greg Seltzer


jon said...

Very good MLS player and if he was 5-10 years older he probably would have gotten a run at CB for the Nats during the lean years, but I don't see him being more than a WCQ bench filler for the US and probably not even that much for Greece. So, that said, feel free to soak in all the attention you can garner George.

Joosey said...

I think John could be a valuable player for the USMNT. There are a lot of prospects at CB and Gooch and Boca on the way out/will never be the same due to injury. Clarence Goodsen is now our most established CB likely to make it to 2014, and with that in mind, kepping as many up and comers around is paramount.

Jay said...

I'm with Joosey. John probably sees it as an opportunity to test himself out, get some looks from clubs across the pond, and maybe encourage Bradley to give him another look himself.

I do find it interesting how directly Greece is going about trying to tap the US player pool for talent. Have we seen this before? A European national team calling in a US player who hasn't actually played in Europe?

J.D. Springer said...

As financially strapped as Greece is, it could be as simple as John would be one less intercontinental airfare they have to pay to bring players to New York since he's already in the U.S. Or am I just being cynical?