FCD's John finally at full speed, on track for opening day

FRISCO, Texas – It’s been a waiting game for George John as FC Dallas ease him back into training after offseason ankle surgery. The big defender has yet to feature in a game, but everything seems to be on track for him to feature in the March 2 season opener.

“It’s going real well, I’m really enjoying being back on the field with the guys and playing soccer,” John told MLSsoccer.com after training fully on Wednesday. “It’s not any fun being on the sideline and doing rehab.

“Everything’s step by step and day by day, but I haven’t had any serious setbacks. So I’m feeling really good and really happy to be out here training for the whole practice.”

With a new contract and bigger responsibilities both on the field and in the locker room, John has been raring to go since mid-January, but for precautionary reasons he was held out of the first two weeks of preseason training in Frisco. While John didn’t play in any of the three friendlies in their week-long trip to Cancún, he doesn’t seem to be too far behind the rest of the squad after a hard-fought practice on Wednesday in which he battled with Kenny Cooper for much of the morning.

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“It happens, but it usually takes the team a few games into the season to mesh together anyways,” said John. “So it is a little bit, I wouldn’t say worrisome, but I’d like to get as many games as possible in preseason just to get comfortable.”

There’s no better opportunity for John to make his return to the field for FC Dallas than in their upcoming trip to the Portland preseason tournament. With three games coming in a week’s time starting on Sunday, John expects to play a big part in that event as he anchors what looks to be a deep Dallas defense.

“Everybody’s looking really good,” John said about his defense. “[Matt] Hedges is looking really good, [Stephen] Keel is a nice addition. We’re a good unit back there.”