U.S. Men's National Team

Happy at Hertha Berlin, Brooks willing to delay Premier League dream


Hertha Berlin and U.S. Men’s National Team defender John Brooks has big aspirations, but he’s also willing to wait to accomplish one of his dreams.

Speaking to German magazine Kicker, the centerback spoke about his “dream” to play in England one day, but he admitted that he doesn’t want to leave Hertha after signing a contract extension.

“I have always said that it is a dream of mine to play in England,” said Brooks. “But I did not say that it must be immediately. I just created something great in Berlin, I have extended my contract to 2019. Everything is going in the right direction, I have no pressure and I’m in good hands with [Hertha coach] Pal Dardai.

“But I don’t want to lie to anyone and say I’ll stay here forever. I’m super happy here, and I’m at home. But at some point, it is certainly a dream… If Hertha says it fits for them, and it fits well for me.”

Brooks’ deal expires in 2019 after signing the extension in January.

The German-American has grown immensely over the past year as a defender for both club and country. Due to his size, he has often been compared to Jerome Boateng of Bayern Munich. It’s a comparison Brooks “has heard often,” and is hoping to replicate his trophy-laden career.

However, it was never an easy path for Brooks. He came up through Hertha’s youth system, played for its reserve side and slowly solidified a spot in the senior team’s starting XI.

Even though it was a tough road, the 23-year-old is glad he took it.

“For me, as a Berliner, it was always a dream to play for Hertha and I’ve done it,” Brooks said. “Even if the path to it was not always easy, it was the same for almost every young player. But I survived it. Meanwhile, everything runs smoothly, and I have a coach who gives confidence to me in any situation. This is what one needs as a young player.”

Brooks was also asked about his time with the USMNT and his national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann, saying that the tactician is a “super motivator” and that he has an eye on the future. The defender also said that his decision to play for the U.S. was the correct one.

“It was, at that time, the right decision,” said Brooks. “I did not know too much about my country during my decision, but I have learned a bit of the culture and I am proud to play for the United States.”

Brooks and the USMNT will open their Hexagonal qualifying phase against Mexico on Nov. 11 at Columbus’ MAPFRE Stadium.

    • yayayayayawn

      It is pretty difficult to play the game at the level he does and not have serious ambition. Even in the form of a shameless troll…. the misplaced arrogance of ne’erdowells calling out a guy competing in a sport/league at the highest level for lack of ambition.lol..Apply the same standards to yourself?


  • Flagermunsen

    Some times we may not know how much of role ethnicity plays in the decision of the more recent American-German players who are representing the USA as they are predominantly mixed race. At least two of them aluded to the fact that when they first came to the USA, they felt a stronger cultural identity, immediately, than what they feel in Germany. I assume they were talking about their race.


  • Old School

    It’ll be quite the spectrum to see Brooks knowing very little of his country, scoring a winning goal in the World Cup, becoming a stalwart on the back line to becoming a proud captain of it’s national team (which I think he’s on course to do so).

    To that degree, I think he typifies everything right about the United States, and it’s soccer team.


  • Lost in Space

    When Brooks jointed the ranks of the USMNT there wasn’t much expected of him. He came in and contributed during the 2014 WC and has since grown into a mainstay for the team. In the near future he’ll likely become the cornerstone of our young defense.
    Horvath/Steffens in goal…Brooks, CCV, Miazga, EPB in central defense….Yedlin, Olosunde, Payne, Acosta, Fossey on the outside.


    • Old School

      I would argue he’s already become the cornerstone of our defense, let alone, back line.


    • shaggie96

      Some people expected a lot of him. I thought he had the potential and probably would become the best center back ever to wear a US kit. He has done nothing but confirm those thoughts.


      • johnnyrazor

        I think he meant expectations for 2014 weren’t that high, not that people didn’t think he could be very good in future. He’d only played in 16 Bundesliga matches prior to the WC and only a handful of US Caps.


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