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Friendly carries added significance for USMNT’s German-Americans

Terrence Boyd


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WASHINGTON — As the U.S. Men’s National Team trained Friday, side-by-side flags — one American, one German — overlooked the session, painted onto the sloping turf surrounding American University’s campus field.

For a quartet of U.S. players, the design served as an apropos symbol for the dueling emotions surely swarming within their hearts and minds.

When defender Fabian Johnson, midfielders Jermaine Jones and Danny Williams, and forward Terrence Boyd pull on the red, white and blue for Sunday’s friendly at RFK Stadium, they’ll do so to play against the nation they were born in. Raised in. Have family in.

“It’s a big deal for us German-Americans since we grew up in the country,” Boyd said. “But I think it won’t prevent us from performing. If I have the chance to score, I will not think about it, that I’m scoring against my home country. Every match I get is important, every minute I get is important for me. I have to perform.”

The players come from similar roots, as all four were born to German mothers and American servicemen fathers. But when it comes to their ties to the Germany national team program, they have varying backstories.

Jones, 31, played for the German under-21 side and even picked up three caps with the senior squad before becoming one of the first players to change international allegiances under FIFA’s revised guidelines.

Johnson, 25, and Williams, 24, also were veterans of the German youth setup before committing to the U.S. Only the 22-year-old Boyd, who played for the U.S. U-20s and U-23s, has never competitively worn the German jersey that Sunday will signify the opposition.

“It will be a big moment for them,” goalkeeper Tim Howard said. “There will be a lot of eyes on them, not just at the game itself but back home in Germany. So I think it’s pretty cool for them. All of those little moments are special.”

Yet when it comes to the idea of divided allegiances, the sentiment within the American contingent is strong: These players have chosen to represent the U.S., and that commitment isn’t going to waver during a match against the motherland.

“It’s still the U.S. national team,” midfielder Michael Bradley said. “There’s an incredible amount of pride in representing our country. So sure, we have different backgrounds. But that’s part of what our country is about. When you look at those guys, sure, they’re all excited at the chance to play against Germany. But in a lot ways, it’s business as usual.”

While Jones and Johnson are established starters under coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who also will be facing his native country for the first time, Williams and Boyd find themselves on the fringes of the team heading into qualifiers against Jamaica, Panama and Honduras. In friendlies such as this one, making a case for more playing time is always a top priority — no matter the opponent.

But if Boyd does bag his first international goal against Germany, will it carry added meaning?

“I will go crazy berserk insane,” Boyd said. “It could be against Germany, it could be against Honduras — I don’t care. When I score my first goal — and I will at some point — it’s going to be a huge party.”


  1. How is Michael Bradley not the captain. Says the right thing every time, such a great leader, he’s the epitome of a captain to me.

  2. I take you are not a rocket scientist, Cencalfooty, who knows how to use online translation services. Tell me, am I right or am I right? 🙂

      • Yeah, view it in a Google Chrome browser. It will automatically ask if you want it translated at the top of the page. It won’t be perfect but it works.

      • basically he says Klinsmann ignored him for Germany saying he thought he was too reckless but never told Jones to change his game, just stopped calling him up instead. that’s why when Bob came and visited him, he said he would play for the US. then Klinsmann took over and Jones said he was worried at first. but that Klinsmann made him feel wanted and needed and that everything is “fit as a fiddle” now.

        then he goes on to say the crowd in DC will be rocking and that’ll surprise Germany. and something about tattoos and how in the US it’s ok, and he uses NBA and NFL players as an example.

        Cuevas goal. 1-0 with 5 minutes left.

    • That’s right, bryan. The story also says that Jones in the USA is “very highly thought of.” Jones said he cannot shake his “bad boy image” in Germany, but that it is different in the USA. “There I am absolutely seen as a leader,” Jones said.

  3. Klinsmann gave an interview to the German newspaper Die Welt. In the interview he was asked about the Brian Staus article. Klinsmann says definitely not true that there are any bad vibes between the Germanericans and the others. And he also claims that the only sources for the article were “former players” for the USMNT, not current members. Yep, that’s what Klinsi said. Wonder if he really believes that. He also downplayed the significance of the story by saying it ran on an “internet service.”

    • What a joker… so much for Klinsmann actually addressing the criticisms and improving as a coach. Nope, he will just dismiss them and continue to live in his bubble of delusion.

  4. I like Terrence Boyd very much and would love to see him score his first USMNT goal against Germany and go berserk. I would not be unhappy to see him start this game, which I think is winnable, although my first choice at forward would be either Eddie Johnson or Herc, but leaning toward Eddie. Jozy blew his chances yet again against Belgium. Time to give him a rest, try something new.

    I have seen enough of Beasley at LB. I think it is a disaster just waiting to happen. He has earned a shot as winger. GW swears that Beasley is better at right wing, so will go with that because Clint is better on the left. Time to end Zusi’s time on the wing, so either he or Herc behind Eddie Johnson.

    ———–Eddie J.—————




      • I guess you — and Klinsmann — haven’t watched Tottenham this past season. Dempsey’s passing has improved tremendously under AVB’s guidance and playing with world-class player Gareth Bale and other excellent Tottenham players. I contend that Dempsey now has the ability not only to be a key scorer for the USMNT, but also a key assist man–if given the opportunity by Klinsmann who current time seems to be having a difficult time developing an effective strategy with this team, including picking the right players and putting them in the right spots.

      • um, yes. pretty sure bradley always played dempsey out wide, and that’s also where he played most of the time at fulham.

        and actually, i think he’s played wide the majority of his time at spurs. is klinsmann the only one to consistently play him in the center?

      • I and others were saying in March that it is high time for Klinsmann to try some new tactics, shake it up a bit, rather than stick to his failed past strategies, which gave us a total of four shots on goal in the three previous WCQs. I cannot figure out where Klinsmann is coming from. All this talk about pushing out of the comfort zone when the guy in many ways is scared stuffless to try something new. Why in the heck not call in Freddy Adu for a camp, just as an experiment to see what he can do. Or bring in Erich Lichaj at right back. Why not move Zusi to CM or sit Jozy and put Eddie J. or Herc on top. Or actually let Jose Torres play his deep Six club position rather than publicly berate him for not attacking enough when true attackers aren’t even attacking. Or for gosh sakes actually start DaMarcus Beasley as a singer instead of trying to show how cool a coach you are to have discovered DMB’s inner left back, which I fear at some point in the future is going to have a sad and bitter ending when he gots whupped bad for a game-winning goal and we drop points.

        hey, but that wasn’t your question, was it, Nate Dollars? No, I cannot recollect clint playing left for Klinsmann.

      • If I remember, Deuce would always start on the left side of the 4-4-2 with LD on the right. LD was more the true winger in that formation while Deuce would roam inside… and then usually become the 2nd forward after a sub.. and everyone would say he needs to play up top the whole game or as a withdrawn striker… I still don’t know his best spot but no matter where he is he’s just got that nack for gritty goals..

    • I’d like to see Boyd get the start also. As far as Beasley at RM, thats a bad idea. Bradley tried it many times and it didn’t work. Beasley doesn’t have the skill to cut in side and make effective passes. He also doesnt have a right foot. Beasley’s advantage are speed, cutting and taking people on. If Beasley starts it should be at Right mid.

    • Under BB, Clint typically started at left wing with LD on the right wing.

      However , what I remember about those two “”wingers” is they went wherever they needed to go so this idea of right or left or winger or striker was empty terminology.

      Deuce and LD were and are tough smart veteran SOCCER players who know what needs to be done and have the skill for the most part to do it. Assuming they get to Brazil, it remains true that this team will go as far as those two will take it.

      As for DMB at LB that remains another useless terminology debate. I have no problem with LB staying at LB through the World Cup. He’ll need the reps.

      But I want to see Castillo and Corona, Tijuana’s version of Galarceps -Cleverly, at left back and left wing with Fabian – DMB at right back and right wing and Deuce – Donovan –Jones- Mikey wherever they want to play.

      Boca (assuming his form comes back)- Besler and Guzan would fill the remaining starter slots.

      For a game day 18 my subs would be Jozy, Shea (assuming return to form) , Edu, Herc, EJ, Morales,Rimando

  5. Here’s to T-Boyd goin’ Berserk!!!
    “Ooohhh!!! It’s in the back of the net!! Berserker Boyd gets his first ever international goal!! For the U-S-A. Can you believe it” (Ian Darke Voice)

  6. We’ll see it the German boys disincentivize our transplants from being too active, a la Jens Jeremies on Caudio Reyna in the WC. Rossi should have been convinced that his best interests lied in staying in his own half in the same way, instead of being allowed to score.

    Our team needs some of the steel common in players from along the Ohio river, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Louisville, Evansville and St. Louis. Jones plays like he was born and bred there. Our youth politics still screen these players out, for some reason.

  7. I hope he becomes the new Charlie this year. We really need some center backs. I love the MLS, but the truth is that the players are there fore a reason. We have players playing in top flight leagues in every position but striker, CD and winger (unless you count the mexican league). Donovan and Johnson could help out at winger. We still are then short at CD and striker.

  8. Hoping for Boyd to get his first on Sunday. With reports today that Jozy/EJ are suffering with a flu, and Herc with lingering knee issue, I’d love to see Boyd get a chance at 90.

  9. Terrence Boyd’s right arm has a tattoo of an American flag and a bald eagle. Gotta love the kid. Can’t wait to see him score his first goal. Hope it’s Sunday.

    • so if he or jj or others scores does he A) celebrate like crazy! B) not celebrate in respect to the other country he chose not to represent.

      understanding T.Boyd’s situation, if i were him I would go crazy and display that tatto to the world but i remember G. Rossi got a lot of flack for celebrating when he scored for Italy on the US…

    • 0-0 at Azteca was great on paper – but in reality, Mexico controlled the game from start to finish. I would rather lose the friendly and play a balls to the wall, overly offensive, crisp passing, wow, we really took it to them and should have won-type game.

  10. ‘Crazy Berserk Insane’ is my favorite TLC album.

    Here’s hoping for plenty of USMNT goals for Boyd in the coming years.


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