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.
“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.