CARSON, Calif. -- Crashing the far post for crosses is not exactly in the job description of FC Dallas central defender George John. But early in the second half of his team's 3-0 Western Conference Championshp victory, he was in perfect position to make the run.
WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
As one of the tallest players on the team, John was in an advanced position for a 54th minute corner kick and, when his team recovered the Galaxy's clearance, John stayed in the box and followed the play. Brek Shea's cross from the left side managed to get through to the far post, where the sophomore defender knocked it home for his first goal in 2010 to extend FCD's lead to 2-0.
“We came in as the underdogs in the public opinion, but we felt that we had every chance to win,” John said. “It feels good to win the Western Conference, going through Salt Lake and now Los Angeles and just prove everyone wrong.”
WATCH: John finds the net vs. LA
John finished the match with more goals on the night than the man he was marking, LA Galaxy forward Edson Buddle, who was second in the Golden Boot race with 17 goals. John and his back line teammates held Buddle to just two shots on the night and only one on net.
For his part, Buddle was adamant that John and his teammates were not using the cleanest of methods to stop him.
“They got the ref's attention early in the game where they were worried about me throwing elbows, and maybe that didn’t work to my advantage, where the ref didn’t call some of the fouls on them,” Buddle said. “It was a physical match, and you expect that with a game like this, with a lot at stake. It was something that I’ve been dealing with all year.”
With a trip to Toronto and FCD's first-ever MLS Cup Final now on the horizon, it only gets tougher for John next weeked. Up next are the Colorado Rapids and goal-scoring duo Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. The tandem combined for 27 goals and are a significant reason as to why the Rapids have also advanced to Toronto.
However, John and fellow central defender Ugo Ihemelu had success against the pair this year, keeping Casey and Cummings from registering a goal in each of the their meetings in 2010. However, for John, there is still plenty of work to be done.
“We’re excited because Colorado is a strong side, but right now we’re enjoying tonight," John said. "We believe in ourselves and I don’t think that anyone else is and that’s the greatest feeling in the world.”