SPORTS

US calls up George John, but only for friendlies

US national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has invited Greek American defender George John for the squad to face Venezuela and Panama in January, but the FC Dallas player’s agent told Kathimerini that John will remain eligible for the Greek national team even if he plays in these matches.

The 24-year-old was invited by national coach Fernando Santos to join the Greek training camp last June, but was injured at the time. As he has not yet played a competitive game for the US either, John remains eligible for both national teams.

His agent Ted Philipakos stressed that the games the US will play next month are friendly and cannot commit the central defender to the American side.

“To put things in perspective though, right now George is on the outside looking in with both national teams,» he stated.

“Obviously, Greece has been in fantastic form, and the squad is set going into the Euro, therefore, I don’t see the possibility for any opportunities for George until after the Euro.

“At the same time, Jurgen Klinsmann has been in charge of the U.S. since August, and this is the first time he has called up George. While Klinsmann is new and still learning the player pool, George has not been among his initial regulars. There is work to be done, for either national team,» Philipakos stated.

John, who obtained a Greek passport in the summer, will focus now on promoting his club career, with the allure of a move to Europe remaining strong.

“Right now, George needs to concentrate on his club form, and decide whether he will stay in MLS or move to Europe this year,» Philipakos told Kathimerini.