AMSTERDAM — FC Dallas defender George John has turned down three European invitations for winter training visits, MLSsoccer.com has learned, including one from EPL side Aston Villa.
The 24-year-old nearly joined Blackburn this past summer and has also been linked with the likes of Everton and Wigan in UK tabloids over recent months. After playing a career-high 31 games to help FCD finish fourth in the West this term, John simply decided to take a breather.
"Aston Villa is a fantastic club and it's a great opportunity, but this was a long, brutal season, and after consulting with FC Dallas management and staff, everyone agreed that George needs to rest more than anything," John's agent, Ted Phillipakos, told MLSsoccer.com. "George had an opportunity to go to Greece as well, but he's definitely going to be staying in the States this offseason. He's going to be refreshed and in top form in 2012."
Since arriving at FC Dallas as a first-round SuperDraft pick in 2009, John has started 71 of 72 regular-season games and worked four playoff contests. In 2010, he helped Dallas win the Western Conference and post a franchise-record 0.93 goals-against average.