FC Dallas hero John discusses projectile incident as club identifies perpetrator
FRISCO, Texas — FC Dallas defender George John had just scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal in his team's 1-0 victory over the defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy on Saturday night, but his celebrations were cut short instantaneously.
“I knew something hit me,” John explained about being struck by a projectile from the celebrating Dallas fans behind the LA goal. “I wasn’t quite sure what happened, if I ran into the post or what, but then I looked down and saw a beer bottle and I was like that had to of hit me. I felt [my head] and there was a ridge and then I was like 'Yes, something hit me for sure.' Luckily I didn’t need stitches and I was able to stay in and finish out the game.”
Television replays clearly showed a beer bottle flying out of the north stands and striking John in the head just behind his right ear.
FC Dallas issued the following statement to MLSsoccer.com regarding the incident:
“It is always unacceptable to throw anything onto the field of play because it endangers the safety of all players and personnel. In this specific incident, we have identified the individual and we are proceeding according to protocol with FC Dallas Stadium, security, Frisco Police and Major League Soccer.”
Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman was relieved that the injury to his star defender wasn’t as bad as it first looked when John crumpled to the ground.
“Last week, he picked up that concussion in Toronto," he said, "so we were scared that somehow, something happened there where he banged heads and was out again, so we were prepared to make a change. But the fighting spirit that he has and desire to win, especially after scoring that goal, I think it showed his determination for us to win.”
Hyndman also went on to praise the resolve of his team: “We’re 5-1-1 and this might be our best start ever between Dallas Burn and FC Dallas. You don’t start off with this kind of a record and not have any good fighting spirit and the team working hard for each other.”
With his game-winner, John is now tied for the team lead in goals (two) and both have proven eventful.
"One goes in off my back [vs. Houston on March 17]," he marveled, "the other, I get hit by a beer bottle."