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Dortmund signs Subotic


Former U.S. Under-20 national team defender Neven Subotic has made the move from Mainz 05 to Borussia Dortmund, the club reported on its website Thursday.

Subotic was an anchor in the back for Mainz this past season and has now reunited with former Mainz manager Juergen Klopp in a transfer worth a reported $4.6 million.

What does this mean for the U.S. national team and U.S. Olympic team? That remains to be seen. U.S. soccer sources have told SBI in recent weeks that Subotic is still on the fence about what national team he wants to play for (he was born in Bosnia and raised in Germany and the United States). His move to Dortmund might make a call up to the U.S. Olympic team that much tougher, assuming Subotic was that close to making a decision.

What is clear at this point is that the 19-year-old Subotic is one of the most highly-regarded young defenders in Germany and would almost certainly merit a strong look from the U.S. national team if he ever commits to playing for the United States.

What do you think of the news? Share your thoughts below.


  1. Hamerville. Subotic was born in Bosnia but he is ehtnic SERB just like Kuzmanovic, Milosevic and Krstajic. Better understand that. And Serbs from Bosnia prefer Serbian NT over Bosnian NT.

  2. Brett:

    Hopefully you’re right and the U.S. can start to score. It’s just hard to see where it’s going to come from and easy to become pessimistic about it. If Bradley doesn’t give Cooper a decent chance soon someone needs to look into the matter. It’s become suspicious to say the least. Kind of weird he will keep giving chances to Wolff (Aren’t they friends from Bob’s Chicago days?) when he clearly cannot ever recover his form due to the loss of his speed, but continues to ignore Cooper.

    I agree with you about all of this begging. It makes us look sad and will actually accomplish just the opposite of what is intended. What happens if they actually accept? Are we then supposed to get down on our knees and thank them for gracing us with their presence? If they don’t want to play for the U.S. we should not want them.

  3. Hammerville- sorry but as i recal, rossi picked Italy from the get go… it wouldnt matter how much our media stroked his ego… he was going to play there regardless… which is more of a reason i dont consider him a yank… he’s clearly chosen his path, and im glad he stuck to his guns…

    i wonder how close he was brought up to his heritage… does he really feel close ties to a country he has not lived in since early childhood?? or does he feel obligated due to the fact he’s from there?? whats to say b/c he grew up with our youth nats, obviously the USMN is not a far stretch for this kid to choose…

    show interest in the kid… BB ask him every time theres a friendly… media articles would be good… but i see “begging” as a bad idea… as i said, show interest

  4. Ted’s post is right on. The only thing to add there is that the reason he can play for Serbia is because his grandparents were Serbian. He is Bosnian by birth and his parents our Bosnian as well.

    The US braintrust needs to be on their hands and knees begging this guy to play. And we (you and I) need to be emailing our American journalists to stop ignoring this story and put it on the front page.

    Do we really want another Rossi out there somewhere? The American Media think they have to “back burner” the story because NS hasn’t “signed up” yet. I think that is a HUGE tactical mistake. And you also see where that got us with Rossi…

    I haven’t even seen a blurb on ESPN’s website about this signing and it is just as big (in my mind) as the Altidore signing.

    These kids have huge egos and you need to massage those egos at this stage. No need to hit them over the head with a stick (like Rongen). BTW NS could be a part of 3-4 WC Teams and do really think that ANY coach will be around that long?

    Let’s get this kid any way we can and worry about the coaching part after that.

  5. Ted- clearly i agree he’ll choose within a year… seeing as by the time he turns 21 it’ll be WC ’10…. im assuming if he has any hopes of making a WC 2010 he may want to actually be introduced into the player pool and also perhaps some games before the WC…. 😀

    the german aspect of things was he tried to obtain a german passport… while he may have said it was for club purposes, it is widely speculated that he has intended to try to become available for germany… but what you are saying is he could play for bosnia or serbia b/c of birth and the US b/c of playing for our youth nats??

  6. People need to stop with the Germany suggestions (not you Ives, since you didn’t directly say he could).

    Under FIFA rules, he can never play for Germany, even if he obtains citizenship before his 21st birthday. The only teams he can play for are the US, Bosnia, and possibly Serbia, the three nationalities he had before playing games for the US youth teams.

    With Serbia, he could legally be a Serbian citizen since birth due to the complicated ethnic / nationalities situation in that area of the world.

    I think people should stop jumping to conclusions about this guy and assuming to know what he thinks. He will make his decision by his 21st birthday (though I think his decision will be made within a year) and that is that.

  7. @Eugene

    Subotic wanted to play for Germany but he’s not eligible because at the time he played for the US he didn’t have a German passport.

    I doubt he’d want to play for Bosnia so I believe it’s between Serbia and the US.

    He was a revelation in the 2. Bundesliga but he has yet to show that he’ll adapt to the Bundesliga but I’m very optimistic.

  8. aristotle- i understand your concern, but in all honest, i dont agree….

    yes, we havent been able to score against the likes of Spain and England, but we have been able to score against the likes of Poland, Sweden, Swiss, S.A., Mexico, and many other Concacaf teams during the Bradley Era…. the US will find a way to put the goals in, and most likely it wont be primarily b/c of the Forwards

    LandyCakes has a knack for scoring goals against the CONCACAF teams… add Beasley into the mix once healthy… a up n’ rising Adu…. Jozy getting full minutes and possibly the looks of Cooper…

    i think our attack is on the rise, Bradley just has to start giving them minutes… while i see Jozy as immediately being introduced, I hope he gives Cooper a shout…

    Our team fouled up against England, and did well against Spain in the first half, but i dont see us struggling so much against the Concacaf teams coming up… Canada and Mexico are threatening, but as far as the other countries starting XI plus depth, im not overly concerned… SAYING THAT, i wouldnt put it past the US to see a fluke from time to time, but as for scoring against CONCACAF we always seem to pull it out….

    personally i like the looks of Bernardo as an up-n-coming forward… he’s moving up the rankings in Napoli… ALTHO, i agree with you when you say “It’s always about the ‘next generation’…. they need to stop coming and finally arrive”… TOO TRUER WORDS COULDNT BE SPOKEN… its time for our prospects to finally pan out…

  9. Eugene:

    It’s always about the “next generation”. This was supposed to be the next generation. They need to stop coming and finally arrive. The reality is “the next generation” didn’t pan out, so now we have to look to the next generation again.

    Taylor Twellman, Pat Noonan, Brian Ching, Eddie Johnson, Clint Dempsey, Justin Mapp, Eddie Gaven, etc, etc, were all supposed to be the next generation, and they just haven’t materialized. Now you tell me our fate rests with just two players Josy Altidore and the enigmatic Landon Donovan? (Dempsey will certainly never be a great striker.) If Donovan was an excellent striker he would be playing in Europe and we would have gone to at least the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup.

    Talk to me in a year and see if you still feel the same.

  10. aristotle,

    You are completely wrong on the direction of the US National team. In fact, the “program” for developing quality players into the national team pool and starting spots is getting significantly better, driven by the U-20s that are finding and shaping more technical players and putting them into a European tactical mold. The problem with our offense has been Bradley’s hesitation to pass the reins to the “next generation” for lack of a better term. We haven’t been scoring against quality opposition because Eddie Johnson, Wolff, Ching, Donovan, etc. have been getting the starts. Sadly Clint Dempsey is also falling into this pool unless he turns his form around and starts performing no matter what position he is playing for the Nats.

    Once the “next generation” of players are fused into the starting 11 and the senior national team starts looking like 2007’s U-20s side, our performances will improve and our goal production will ramp up. We just need to get Altidore, Adu and Bradley starting every time, backed up by players like Edu, Szetela and Kljestan as 2-way mids or defending mids. We also need to incorporate a true right wing, and at the moment our best option is Zizzo.

    As far as I’m concerned the only two attacking players from the “previous era” that should pass to the new era are DaMarcus Beasley and Clint Dempsey (who needs a solid kick in the pants to recover his form).

    I’m more worried about how our defense will develop, because I don’t yet see a great batch of young defenders coming up the ranks (outside of goalkeepers).

  11. Wow, I guess I just don’t lack the faith in our offense that you do. Sure, we’ve looked pretty lousy as of late but we haven’t fielded our best talent. With Lando on the field our offense has a completely different potential and Barbados and Costa Rica ain’t no England or Spain. I definitely agree that our team needs to step it up on offense, but with Adu and Jozy developing nicely I don’t think the skies are so grey.

  12. Brett:

    A little while ago I would have agreed with you that Subotic playing for the US would guarantee him playing in every world cup, but I’m not so sure now. The US national team is currently going in the wrong direction. I believe it’s quite possible that unless some dramatic improvement comes from somewhere soon the US could fail to qualify for an upcoming World Cup.

    For the sake of argument, we’ll say that the US goalkeeping, midfield and defense is good enough to get them into every World Cup. I believe their offense, or lack thereof, could very easily cost them a trip to the World Cup. To win you need to be able to score goals, and the US is quickly getting to the point where they could call me up as a striker and I’d have about the same chance of scoring as one of the US’s regular strikers.

    I think we would all agree that Mexico could easily finish in front of us in qualifying. Given the fact that out of all the countries in Central America and the Caribbean there are sometimes a couple of teams that are quite strong, such as Costa Rica, Honduras, and Jamaica have been in the past, on occasion, and the fact that we can’t seem to score, I think it’s very possible we could fail to qualify. Even Canada has the potential to beat us out. Then throw in all of the absurd conditions and refereeing that we always run into in a lot of the Central American countries, and you can see a disaster waiting to happen.

    At this point, I wish Neven Subotic was an up and coming striker!

  13. anyone know how good bosnia’s world cup team is? i would think he’d rather play for germany than bosnia, although i’d like to see him play for the u.s.

  14. Look, Subotic isn’t “sitting on the fence,” that’s nonsense. He has an offer to play for the US and he’s holding out, which implies he’s waiting for Germany to come knocking and he’d prefer to play for them.

    It’s very similar to the Rossi situation except that Rossi had been called up to the Italian youth teams and Subotic has not (as far as we know).

    I think USA fans should move on, its unlikely that Subotic will ever play for us and if we’re not his first choice, why do we want him so badly?? He’s a 19 yr old who’s just getting a bite from a bigger club, he’s not Rio Ferdinand! Nor is it clear that he’ll ever be of that caliber.

    He got cut from the U-20s because he wasn’t putting in good work during practice and he had a bad attitude. You guys need to have more faith in Rongen, the guy has been a great coach for our U-20s.

  15. DeLarge- well he’s been denied a german passport last i heard, so his odds of playing for germany are pretty much currently shot…

    that leaves serbia and bosnia…. both of which i wouldnt deem as quality supplements to the odds you have when playing for the US…. yes he’ll get the intense games of Euro, but would probably never make it past group….

    with the US he’s practically promised a trip to the WC…. he’d have chances to play in Confeds (greater odds) and Copa… simply put he has better chances of making the big stage intl’ly with the US…

  16. Unfortunately, I don’t think he’ll play for the USA. If he’s used to the European atmosphere (I’m sure he is), I think he’d forego Concacaf sad-ass qualifying and no fans in the U.S. stadiums, and partake in intense European qualifiers and the adulation that comes with all that.

  17. I haven’t seen him play, so I have not idea how good he is or if he’d fit in with the US squad. From the reports though, there’s no question that he deserves a chance.

    I believe that BB tried to call him in earlier this year, but he declined. So the ball is basically in his court right now.

    Hopefully Nowak will be able to get him to play in the Olympics and we can see how well he pairs with Orozco.

  18. I changed my mind. To hell with Donovan. Priority #5 is developing the young teenagers into becoming ambitious, technically sound, and creative players.

  19. Begging this kid to committ to the US and getting him caped ASAP is comfortably one of the top 5 priorties of US soccer right now.

    I would mix it in with Adu earning a starting spot at Benfica, Altedor getting loaned to a La Liga club where he can play right away, Bradley transfering to a team that plays european cup soccer, and Donovan growing a damn spine and leaving MLS.

  20. Good for him. That’s certainly an upgrade in competition and prestige. Here’s to hoping he chooses the US. We could certainly use the depth in the back.

  21. @Philip – I haven’t seen Subotic play, but am willing to agree with you. The more people challenging for spots, the more players push themselves.

  22. Ives. Thank you for posting the Subotic info. Saw him play last year. 19 years old and he is very, very good. Not suprising the BVB got him. Bundesliga will keep him progressing. I truly hope he decides to play for the USA. He would be an asset for years to come. Quality!!!!!!! Call BB and tell him to get his head out of his Butt and get Subotic into the Senior Mens team right NOW!!!!!!!!

  23. Wow – let’s hope we can get him capped soon! Great move for him…crazy that Gooch still hasn’t gotten a transfer anywhere of this magnitude.

  24. I think we should emphasize that the US will play in every World Cup (since we are in concacaf) and in the Olympics. I don’t think Serbia can make that guarantee.

  25. Well in terms of his club career, this is a nice move for him. Dortmund is old as dirt in center defense and gave up alot of goals this past season. He’d most certainly challenge for a spot immediately. Now, on the question of which national team he plays for, this is the massive question for alot of US Nats fans. I think Subotic’s first choice is actually Germany, but he’s not eligible to play for them. Since he’s ethnic Serb from Bosnia, he’s also been approached by them as well. Plus the current RB at Dortmund is Serbian (whom I’m sure will try to woo him). Finally there is the US, where he developed as a youth, and played for our youth teams, but apparently had a falling out with Rongen, so who knows how much of that factors into the equation. My opinion on this is he’s holding out hope for Germany, and if that falls through, he’ll decide between us and Serbia. Considering how solid the Serbs are in the back, and how shaky we are – he’ll see he has a better shot with us and eventually default to us. Hopefully this kid is as good as he’s advertised, we can use all the help at CB as we can get.

  26. homey- adu moved at the age of 8 and lived in the US longer then he did in Ghana… Rossi (altho vacationed in italy on summers) lived in the US till he was 13 then moved to europe… at which point he spent more time abroad then in Italy… how exactly do we feel about Rossi?? he’s no yank, he’s italian…. so it makes sense he plays for Italy…

    i hope Subotic does choose the US, and i hope he chooses soon… him in the olympics would be TIGHT for our defensive line… at least we wouldnt have to worry about Edu playing in the CB’s 😀

  27. But here’s hoping the kid chooses to play with fellow Americans. But after not being selected for the U-20 World Cup, I’d feel slighted too.

  28. Somehow I don’t think Ghana misses Adu. And not sure how much speed the 6-foot-5 Subotic would actually add on the U.S. backline. What I know he will add is, yes, youth and actual talent on defense.

  29. I wonder if Ghana feels the same way about Adu as the USA does about Rossi or potentially losing this guy? We could definitely use some speed and youth in defense.


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