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May 27, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Shoreline native George John to train with Greek nat’l team

john dallas.jpgPhoto credit: Erika Schultz, The Seattle Times

FC Dallas defender George John (pictured in red) will join the Greek national team in New York a couple weeks from now before a June 7 friendly against Ecuador. The 24-year-old John is from Shoreline and played collegiately at Washington.

The second generation Greek-American will train with the team, but won’t play in the game.

“It is a tremendous honor to be invited to join the Greek national team,” John said in a statement. “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 was invited to a USMNT camp last December in preparation for a friendly against Chile, but he was unable to attend since he was recovering from minor surgery that removed bone spurs from his ankle.

John is still eligible to play for Greece and the U.S., and this news won’t affect that. Should John play in a friendly for Greece, he would still be eligible for a one-time switch. If he plays in an official tournament for Greece, his international career is tied to that country.

“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,” John said in the statement. “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.”

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