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Brooks left off Germany U-21 squad

JohnAnthonyBrooksHerthaBerlin2 (DPA)


Though nothing is official yet, it looks like John Anthony Brooks may be a step closer to playing for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

The Hertha Berlin defender was left off the Germany Under-21 squad for a friendly match against France next Tuesday, after a report in Germany stated on Wednesday that Brooks was considering accepting an invitation to that squad.

Germany’s U-21 coach Horst Hrubesch had reportedly given the 20-year-old Brooks until Thursday to make his decision on whether he would accept the U-21 call or the USMNT call, and Brooks’ exclusion from the U-21 squad seems to suggest that he has decided on accepting Jurgen Klinsmann’s call-up for the upcoming friendly vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina.

While Brooks didn’t make the U-21 team, German-American Shawn Parker of Mainz 05 was included and could make his U-21 debut.

What do you think of this development? Excited at the prospects of Brooks playing for the USMNT? Hoping he starts vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Losing Parker is more worriesome to me. He could be another Guiseppe Rossi. And as good as Altidore has been lately, we could really use a young Guisseppe Rossi.

  2. Does anyone else think that if JAB plays for us next week that this is a done deal? What are the odds that Germany would continue to court him? I can’t imagine Bermany continuing to bother with a player who has played a full national team game for another country.

  3. This is the best we could hope for. He’s in the paddock; we just have to shut the gate.

    This is the first indication that he might have the desire to choose us over Germany. Keep going, JK. Get him capped ASAP.

    • Yup, call him to this friendly and play him (at least a half).

      Call him in to the Sept WCQ’s and if the situation arises (a sub in injury time, 1 extra defender to protect a lead like Gonzo against Panama) sub him in and cap tie him.

      Then, play him the full 90 after we have qualified (either both games in October or the Panama game if the US needs to win in KC to secure qualification). Got to see what you’ve got, because there is still question as to who starts next to Besler.

      • And that’s how you cap a player in no time. If he’s good enough, then let the man play. By the way, I’ve never seen him play. From what I hear, he’s very good positionally. And he plays a clean game. Not too many yellows from what I read. I don’t know anything about speed. Maybe someone who has seen him play can chime in.

  4. guys, you just had this argument yesterday. please stop polluting this board with your BS. move the F on. agree to disagree. some think he is American, some don’t. get over it.

    • Who thinks he isnt American? The question isnt that, its whether or not he is actually committed enough to this country, this team, to make the sacrifices that come with playing international soccer. I think in general its good policy to have guys who are genuinely committed to the cause, those sacrifices are worth it. Its probably cynical, but not entirely far fetched to be skeptical of a persons desire to make sacrifices to a country they dont know all that well.

      • There are people on these boards who would argue there are levels of American-ness and he doesn’t fit their criteria for what they consider to be American enough. Not going to name names but it is clear there are people who think he isn’t a “real” American.

        Also agree with OP, so tired of the same tired arguments on every article about dual nationals. It was less on the AJ threads but it was still there.

      • But you’re being disingenuous if you think there’s not a single shred of difference between someone born and raised in the US and more importantly, brought through the US youth system versus someone brought up in a different country, under their system, and are culturally more german leaning. If the entire team was made up of dual nationals raised exclusively outside the US, would that feel American to you?

      • ‘If the entire team was made up of dual nationals raised exclusively outside the US, would that feel American to you?’

        if it didn’t feel ‘american’ to you, i think that says more about you than it does about them. at least for the military kids, they didn’t choose where their parents were stationed.

        and unless a player comes right out and says that they would rather have played for another country, i think you give them the benefit of the doubt and @ssume that they want to represent this country. if US citizen wants to play for the US, then that’s ‘american’ enough for me.

      • I give them all the benefit of the doubt, especially if they can help the team. I just dont think people who are skeptical deserve to be flamed so hard.  There are legitimate arguments that bringing in too many foreign-born and raised players shows a lack of confidence in American player development and can hurt team chemistry

      • ‘I just dont think people who are skeptical deserve to be flamed so hard.’

        i agree with this, which is why i actually respond to their comments, not like i would to someone who is just troIIing.

        i don’t think the skeptics (for the most part) are xenophobes; i think they’re legitimately concerned; but i don’t think they should be.

      • It isnt mine or anyone else’s duty or responsibility to proclaim if someone is American enough. If they are a US citizen by law they are American enough.

        Generally I do believe people should play where they feel the closest to but there is no way for me to know what country JAB feels the strongest ties to as I don’t know him at all.

      • Im not making a judgement on if anyone is “American enough”. Never said that. The question is if they are truly dedicated and willing to make the sacrifices necessary to fill itnl obligations.

  5. There’s nothing wrong pickin your second choice team. Heck I’m sure he’ll be decent and better than any of the players we can develop.

    • Nothing wrong indeed and he will better than any player the US can develop…..but then, how hard is that?
      just don’t give me this American Pride BS.
      He picked the US because he know he’s not good enough for Germany.
      Nothing wrong about knowing your limitations.

    • Germany lost to US last time played. USA got robbed against Germany last WC match they faced. Also, recently it has been suggested that German teams of the past used illegal substances. Other German-Americans are choosing the USA, and even Germany’s top scorer wants to coach this side. Now tell me which country is second choice.

  6. I think the guys up above, House and Mikebsiu, are wrong that Brooks accepted this invitation because he is not good enough for the German team. My take on the situation, which, of course, could be wrong, is that Brooks is trying to gain the attention of Jogi Low for WC 2014 and not wait until the WC 2018 cycle. He was quoted in a couple of German stories this summer (which I will link below) making sure to say that he did NOT prefer the USMNT over Germany, but that the USMNT (Klinsmann) was trying harder to get him than Germany. You know, nice to feel wanted. He specifically said that he had the impression that Germany does not necessarily want him.

    Last year in August and September Timothy Chandler gave several interviews in the German press along the same lines, clearly designed to try and draw Jogi Low’s attention. With Brooks, by accepting Klinsmann’s call-up for Bosnia instead of the German U-21, Brooks is making headlines in Germany and challenging Low to call him up now or most likely lose him.

    I guess we will find out in September whether Brooks is ready to commit to the USA.

  7. The whole ‘we need to develop more of our own players’ argument has truth to it. However, it has gotten old when we talk about it in the context of these dual nationals. It’s not like we aren’t trying to do that right now. The thing is we are still incredibly new at this big time soccer business. The sport is growing and more and more American kids are getting into professional academies and teams here in the States and abroad. You are crazy if you do not see the talent we are starting to develop. Does the system need to continue to improve? Obviously. Until we reach the point where we are producing dozens of JABs or AJs, I am fine with incorporating dual nationals because that will give us an opportunity to be more successful. That success will in turn grow the game. By the way, how many of these alleged “un-American” dual nationals will actually be starting any time soon for the USMNT, one or maybe two (assuming Chandler ever gets his head right)? Step off the ledge, Slowleftarm.

  8. You think this guy would ever be good enough to play for the German senior team?! Yeah right…. That’s why he’ll pick the USA.

      • Yea I do. German parents and moved here when I was four. No way in hell this guy would ever make the senior German team. By picking the USA he’ll at least make it to a World Cup, albeit crash out in the first rnd.

      • What does you being born in Germany have to do with how good he is?

        I was born in Brooklyn and I know how good Germany is. Does that make me an expert?

      • lol i don’t know why bayern spends so much on scouts, when they could just hire someone who had german parents.

        this kid’s ceiling could be very high (or not); no one really knows yet. except you, i guess.

      • If the kid had a high ceiling he wouldn’t be playing for one of the worst bundesliga sides. He would’ve been snapped up by now.

      • like i said, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        bayern munich tried to get him from the hertha berlin reserves, but he wanted guaranteed playing time.

        the greater point here is that *no one knows* how good he will be yet, not even you. even though you do have german parents.

      • Did you feel the same way about Subotic before he became a World Cup veteran, Bundesliga Champion starter, Champions League Finalist and also a guy who helped keep Real Madrid contained before making that CL Final…. A lot of people felt that way about Subotic, granted Neven actually lived in the US for a while and THAT is the biggest and best example of players who we lost in the dual nationality process that hurt the most….he could very well might of helped us beat Slovenia and Ghana and have a WAY better World Cup, against a great Uruguay team who knows what happens but anyway, lots of people said something similar to what you said about Brooks…..Neven was with Mainz in the 2 Bundesliga I believe….and if Brooks does well with Hertha Berlin I won’t be surprised if he becomes one of the top 5 or 6 CBs in the Bundesliga…

      • I agree with you. Losing Subotic hurts more than losing Rossi. Subotic will be around for a while. I’m not really too impressed with Rossi. He’s had good showing against USA in Confed Cup 2009. He’s definitely no Schillacci. Rossi might not even make the World Cup at all. It was injury in 2010, and maybe not this time around with Balotelli, Al Sharaawy, Gilardino, and Giovinco and a few more youngsters along the way. Serves him for not playing for USA. lol. Brooks has a high ceiling. Whether he’ll reach it, we don’t really know. If USA can get him to commit before he develops, it will be a coup.

  9. Great news. Someone will take this the wrong way but I’ve wondered if being 1/2 black maybe makes it easier for our germerican friends to identify with the US team.

  10. Nope, I’ll be excited when we produce tons of high quality players here in the US instead of begging a bunch of Germericans to play for us.

    • I agree, those kids feel German, which no one blame them for picking German over U.S. If those Germs lived or visit in U.S., and pick the U.S….I have no problem.

    • who says the US is begging? are you that much of a self-loathing american that you can’t believe that someone, if given a choice, would decide to play for the US?

      if an american wants to represent us on the soccer field, that’s good enough for me.

      • Hear, hear. People seem to forget or maybe they don’t know that under US law and the Constitution, Mr. Brooks is an American citizen.

    • Give it time. Everyone wants the US to churn out stars, but Until then, we have a responsibility to field the best team possible.

      • This is correct. In order to field a team of quality “American” players, we must have a product enticing enough to lure more American kids to play soccer. The best way of doing so is fielding the best team possible. If that means inviting some German-American players into the camp, it’s a temporary solution that will make us a better team in the short term and in the long run, it’ll mean better American-born prospects as the game and USMNT grow here. Plus, tell a player like Terrence Boyd he’s not proud to play for America.

      • Temporary solution nothing. We should continue to welcome any and all americans who choose to represent this country into the pool.

        I’m definitely excited to see more players emerge from our youth system, but in the end you field the best american team you possibly can.

      • Because, you’re not gonna believe this, its possible to engage him on the subject without calling anyone a bigot

      • I’ve never called him a bigot. The only thing I’ve said is that whenever the subject of a dual-national comes up, he scrambles to his keyboard to say the exact same thing, inciting other posters to furiously bash him.

        I’ve said the same to another poster who goes out of his way to criticize another German-American. Come up with new material.

  11. I’m pleased he will not play for Germany in this match. But it doesn’t really matter to me if he doesn’t play for us. Is there any word from him on the subject?

  12. This means he doesn’t see himself as being good enough for Germany.
    Why else would anybody trade a chance for a Wold Cup for a chance to the Gold Cup?

    • ‘Why else would anybody trade a chance for a Wold Cup for a chance to the Gold Cup?’

      this might shock you, but international soccer was (purportedly) created to show pride in one’s country, not to just get a trophy however you can.

      • He mother is German.
        He was born and raised in Germany.
        He learned to play in Germany.
        Why couldn’t he show his “pride” for Germany?
        Because he doesn’t think he’ll ever make the German National Team.
        Plain and simple.

      • yeah, that’s a good theory.

        he certainly could show his pride for germany if he wanted to. maybe you could just decide for him…

      • It’s not about pride with him. It’s about believing he can make the German National Team.
        He does not think he can so he picked the US.

      • due to your absolute statements, i have to think that you’ve actually talked to the guy about it.

      • never said anything about his pride for the US. i don’t even know the guy.

        only one of us is making those kind of statements.

      • He must be an abnormally mature and well grounded 20yr old to have already recognized his career limitations.

        bravo to him. and to you for helping us realize his aspirations.

      • Could it just be that he feels he should have a shot with the full team and didn’t want to bother with youth teams? I mean he DID skip BOTH the U-20 FIFA World Cup with the USMNT U-20 squad and the European U-21 Championship with Germany and now this U-21 Friendly….

      • That’s the mainstream way of thinking about it. Who knows how Americanized his life has been with a servicemen for a father, let alone just having an American father. My friend’s Dad is from Greece and I guarantee you my buddy feels more Greek than American, and he would represent Greece if the chance came, and he’s lived all of his 18 years in the states.

      • I’m 3rd generation German and even I take a strong pride in my ancestry. I could see where being first generation, like your friend would be even stronger. I would suit up for the Red, White and Blue all day though.

      • I recently found out that I’m eligible for Canadian dual-citizenship through my grandfather, and even though I’ve never stepped foot in Canada, I’d certainly consider playing for their national team if they showed a stronger interest in me than the United States.

        Speaking of which, considering how bad they looked during the Gold Cup, I may just give their staff a call.

      • What 20 year old starting in the Bundesliga who is Germany doesn’t believe they could make the National Team of Germany? Top-level athletes have self-confidence, self-belief and are goal oriented. There may be a reason why some of the German-Americans raised there desire to play for us. They even state it– they haven’t always felt accepted in Germany or well integrated into German society. I am careful to avoid using the fact that some are of African American decent, because Tom Dooley was not. I don’t think it is a simple as being of mixed race in a European country.

      • It is hard for us to know. The fact their fathers had darker skin and as a result they see that in the mirror every day could make them long for or feel more American. We can’t blast a simple blanket statement for every guy. I’d love for US soccer to sit down with JAB and do a heart to heart interview. All of us fans would love to hear about him, how he perceives the country of his father and what makes him want to represent us in soccer.

      • I wrote about this the other day. I disdain people who claim to be able to read the minds of other people, especially those who are distant whom they have never met. Have you ever considered the fact that maybe his father inculcated in him a fondness for the US and that he really likes our country? You know, a lot of people do; that’s why so many immigrate here, even those who have no family ties.

    • Let me get this straight: He declined an invitation to play for Germany’s primary youth team because he thinks he’s not good enough to play for Germany?

      • +1 bwahahahahaha. Yes, it’s like rejecting the acceptance letter to an elite-Harvard summer camp for high school juniors that helps you get into Harvard because you don’t think you’re good enough get into Harvard.

    • I’m not saying this is what happened in his case, but there are career considerations that could come into play for these sorts of decisions. Players often score big moves through good performances in international tournaments. It’s not implausible to think that Brooks’ professional resume would look better in a couple years if he’s a good starter on a Bundesliga side, the starting CB for the USMNT, and has shown well on the international stage versus just being a good starter on a Bundesliga side and a former German youth international.

      There’s no way AC Milan buys Onyewu in 2009 if not for his performance at the Confed Cup.

  13. serious question:

    How many German-American children are there in Germany and of those is a higher percentage turning into professional footballers than the general population?

    • There is a tongue in check satire novel to be written about this somewhere. In the Late 70’s an Army Colonel from up state New York and a Cosmos fan recognized that making the US a soccer powerhouse would help increase American soft power and influence. Given that the sons of American service members that joined youth teams in Germany would be trained in the ways of Die Mannschaft, he secretly started Operation “Dual”. Recruit looks like Tyson Beckford? Off to West Germany! Why focus on Black Dudes? Tall handsome white guys are a dime a dozen in Germany.

      • AND biracial kids would be less able to deny their heritage when their real dads disappeared and mom got married to a local.

  14. This is a big deal-this isn’t some opportunistic thing. The 40% chance he starts in 2014 and 80% chance he goes for the US are not worth sacrificing the fact he would likely be in Russia and Qatar with Germany competing for a world cup unless he genuinely feels American and would rather play for the US irrespective of either team’s talent level. From what I’ve read about him that actually seems the case.

    • 40% is highly unlikely. He might be on the subs bench for this WC, since the 4th CB spot is wide open right now. No way you’re going to integrate a new defender 10 months before the WC with mainly friendlies to test him out with. He’s not going to play in the next 2 WCQ where we can clinch. That would just leave 2 meaningless WCQ after we’ve already qualified.

      Being an integral part of 2018 next to Besler is much more likely.

      • You’re right I was aiming high but that just proves my point more-his chances for playing in 2014 are slim with the US and Germany but his chances to play with either in 2018/22 are high-if this weren’t about wanting to play for the US and were about “opportunism” it makes little sense-which is why I think it’s not.

      • I think you’re right Dimidri in regards to how he feels (at least that what it seems like).

        A player with as high a profile as JAB choosing the US of Germany is a big deal. People can’t play the opportunism card on this one because like you said, he’d have a much better chance at winning the whole thing with Germany in 2018/22 than the US. Also, by choosing the US he is missing out on the Euros (and call me a “Eurosnob” all you want but Euros>Gold Cup).

      • got news for you buddy…. there are rumors out there…. somebody took my idea to eliminate GC and have concacaf and SAmerica play in Copa America from now on. The tourney will only take place in USA due to the colonies you find in the USA. It might even have special ‘guest’ countries who have links to the Americas… England, Spain, France, Holland, Italy… even the African champion and runner-up would be invited… of course, it is up to them if they want to participate and try to ‘steal’ the Cup… imagine a Brazil-Argentina final at the Rose Bowl, 100,000K plus…. Messi, Neymar…

        This proposed tournament will only happen if we find a way to get rid of Sunil Gulati… Many say, he’s got limited or no ideas to move US soccer forward.

      • “No way you’re going to integrate a new defender 10 months before the WC…”

        Except when you do. There aren’t hard and fast rules about these sorts of things. If Brooks can do the job better than anyone else (and I have no sense as to whether or not that’s true), then you start him. If not, you don’t. But I don’t think you hold back just because he hasn’t paid his dues yet.

        David Regis played his first match for the US in May 1998. He started all three matches in the World Cup the following month.

        DaMarcus Beasley, unlike Regis a key part of the US youth system, played in one “meaningless” WCQ against Trinidad & Tobago six months before he played in every group stage match of the 2002 World Cup.

        My point is, who knows? But you play the guys you think will best help you win.

      • Agreed, to a point. Center back, or any defender, is quite a different proposition than a forward or winger. They take time to mature and get the experience needed to play such a challenging position.

        Back in the day when Regis came aboard, there wasn’t a whole lot of talent in the squad, most of the defenders were playing in MLS in its fledgling days. So when there’s a huge talent upgrade, you go for it, otherwise it’s more difficult to stick a young centerback into that global stage.

        Brooks might (or might not) be a big upgrade, but are his physical tools enough to overcome his lack of experience? I don’t know, I doubt it this late in the game. Unless he puts in a Bundesliga season that sees him as one of the top defenders in the league, then you might think twice.

      • If we clinch over the next 2, I’d argue that the final 2 WC’s are perfect times to test new players….especially the final match, in Panama, who most likely need a result to qualify.

      • So, who would the new players be? Here is a partial list:

        Pontius, Brooks, Lichaj, McGee, MacInerney, Gatt,

        Who else?

    • For one, I think our best CB combo currently is Goodson and Besler. Gonzo is next in line. Besler is solid and a mainstay for sure. I like Goodson’s height and passing compared to Gonzo, and I like Gonzo’s potential. But both Goodson and Gonzo are prone to mistakes at critical times, especially Gonzo. Brooks physicality, athleticism, and touch on the ball make him an ideal choice to be our starting CB next to Besler. Sure, it’s less than a year before the World Cup. But we have plenty of time and games to acclimate him into the starting XI. I’d rather use this time to see if Brooks can indeed improve our backline than go into the World Cup and watch Gonzo have a brain fart that costs us.

      • Goodson is a stop gap at 33. If called upon he’s good enough to be a 3rd CB for a WC squad but no higher. Nevertheless, better options have emerged and I foresee Brooks, Cameron, Besler, and Gonzo going to Brazil.

  15. I won’t celebrate yet until Brooks is cap-tied, but I’m hoping he’ll be on that roster against Bosnia. Now, who is this Shawn Parker guy? I want them all.

    • only watched him play in second division bundesliga, but he was consistently one of the best players on the field every game i saw. he’s a big guy, but very calm in possession and distribution. if he keeps developing like he has (the big “if”), he could be very good.

      this coming season (in the first division) will really help show if he’s as good as he’s thought to be.

    • I watched him a few times… He got beat twice only to be saved by the goal keeper in separate games. Other than that, looks solid

      He needs to work on headers in the air

  16. “What do you think of this news?”

    I don’t see any of this as news but rather speculation. Until he’s cap-tied for either country, I’ll refrain from adding to the speculation as it’s already becoming tiresome.

    • You can choose to be drab all you want. I’m looking forward to seeing him play in the upcoming friendly, regardless of when he gets captied…

      • +1
        Let’s just hope he stays health from now until the 14th. You know with USMNT’s luck it wouldn’t be surprising if the guy injures his back picking up his luggage before the friendly.

    • To be fair, JAB being left off Germany’s U-21 is news. the rest is speculation but not unreasonable speculation. Like JC, I am genuinely excited to see him against Bosnia if he suits up. He is a really, really intriguing young player and you don’t see many guys switch affiliations after playing in a senior friendly.

      • It’s a bigger commitment than with some NTs. It would have been easier to simply go the German path until he plateaued. The Germans don’t usually bother with players who play with other full NTs. That might change, but they have a deep pipeline, so it’s not worth the bother.

      • “To be fair, JAB being left off Germany’s U-21 is news.”

        We’re right back where we were prior to the U-21 potential call-up. If that’s news, it’s a slow news day.

      • Torres is a HUGE signing. For a Rapids team which has quietly became pretty solid, getting a proven Concacaf Gold Cup goalscorer is pretty big news.

      • Actually, we aren’t where we started. He received an offer (although it was only U-21 offer, not a full team game) and he rejected it. That has to be positive for the chances that he plays for the US.

      • “Though nothing is official yet”
        “The Hertha Berlin defender was left off the Germany Under-21 squad”
        “Brooks’ exclusion from the U-21 squad seems to suggest”

        Speculation, zero confirmation and still isn’t cap-tied.

        Yes…we’re right back where we started. No news, pure speculation and zero substance.

      • If someone takes the time to make a response directed at me, I reserve the right to respond in kind.

        Thanks for adding absolutely nothing to the conversation.

      • Dude, this thread has 142 comments. That means a lot of people are interested and consider it news. You might not be interested but everyone else is.

      • Interest/views does not mean news.

        I’m interested in his decision. Not speculation from a distance.Was there a decision made yet? Nope. THAT’S news…this continues to be speculation.

        More power to you (and everyone else) if that’s what you’re interested in. I never said you couldn’t be interested or you had to agree with me.

        …but this still speculation.

      • It’s NEWS! He was NOT called up for Germany’s U21s. That’s NOT speculation, that’s FACT. I’m not sure why you keep calling it speculation.

      • Especially since so much of the site revolves around a mix of fact and speculation. All of the who will Klinsi choose, who will he start, 23 for 2013 type stories are all in that vein and are the meat and potatos for any soccer blog. I’m not sure why this gets you in such a twist.

    • While it is speculation, this decision points in a certain direction. Germany is not going to keep chasing him (or other dual citizen players)–they are not Iceland after all.

    • yeah, i agree with you. he chose the path that doesn’t commit him in any way.

      so sure, he could be saying that he’s choosing the usmnt. or he could be saying that he doesn’t want to decide right now. either way, it’s pure speculation.

      • actually, now that i read more closely, neither choice would’ve committed him, even provisionally. i guess that’s a little more promising, but it still isn’t worth getting worked up over.

      • I think that’s harsh, it’s just an opinion. To enjoy or not to enjoy any topic or news on this site is up to you. Don’t allow someone else’s opinion to affect your outlook. The world would be boring if everyone thought exactly alike…

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