By IVES GALARCEP
German-born defender John Anthony Brooks has been the subject of plenty of speculation about his national team future for some time now, and there has been a hope for U.S. Men’s National Team fans that he will eventually choose the U.S. over Germany when the time comes.
The time to make that decision is fast approaching and Brooks has made it clear he is on the verge of choosing a national team in the coming weeks. In a recent interview with Berliner Kurier, Brooks stated that he will make his decision soon.
“I can still play for both organizations,” Brooks said. “I have not decided for whom. Now I know not whether I in the summer at the U-20 World Championships in Turkey playing for the United States or at the U21 European Championship in Israel for the DFB.
“I will consider in the coming weeks in peace.”
The son of an American soldier, Brooks has enjoyed a breakout season with German Bundesliga 2 side Hertha Berlin, and with the team on the verge of gaining promotion back to the Bundesliga, Brooks could is poised for a big 2013.
Whether his 2013 will involve the U.S. Under-20 National Team remains to be seen. If he chooses to play for the U.S., he would be considered a sure bet to start in central defense for the Americans, but with the German Under-21 team presenting an opportunity to play in the European championships, Brooks has a difficult decision to make.
The 20-year-old centerback boasts impressive size (at 6-foot-4) and good technical ability for his size. He still needs to work on getting stronger, and has plenty of room to improve and mature, but there is no denying he would be one of the best prospects in the U.S. Men’s National Team pool if he chose to play for the United States.
It should definitely be noted that neither the Under-20 World Cup or the Under-21 European Championships would cap-tie Brooks on the senior level. What it would do is require him to file a one-time switch request with FIFA if he changed his mind.
While that could still be a possibility after this summer, it isn’t unreasonable to believe that the country he chooses to represent this summer will have the advantage on trying to secure his services for the senior team going forward.
What do you think of this development? See Brooks playing for the United States, or think it is inevitable he chooses to play for Germany?
Share your thoughts below.