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Brooks dropped to Hertha Berlin’s reserve team due to inconsistent performances

John Brooks Hertha Berlin 683


John Brooks will not be seeing time with Hertha Berlin’s first team any time soon.

Brooks has fallen out of favor with head coach Jos Luhukay and has been dropped to Hertha’s second team, according to a report out of Germany. Luhukay is unhappy with what he deems are inconsistent performances from the 21-year-old centerback, and pointed to mistakes Brooks made in last week’s 2-2 draw vs. SC Freiburg as reasons for the surprising decision.

Contrary to other reports, Brooks has not been cut from the club that currently sits in 14th place in the Bundesliga.

The U.S. Men’s National Team defender was not included in Hertha Berlin’s gameday roster for their 1-0 defeat to FC Augsburg on Sunday. He did, however, go the distance in the reserve team’s 3-0 loss to Babelsberg on Friday.

This is not the first time Luhukay has publicly criticized Brooks. The Hertha manager said Brooks had to grow up last season, and also suspended him at another point in the campaign over a large back tattoo that the German-American had done.

Brooks started each of the three Bundesliga games he appeared in this season, but it looks like he he will have to wait some time before doing so again.


What do you make of this development? Should Hertha loan Brooks out? Think his relationship with Luhukay is too damaged to make a return to the lineup this season?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. You can’t even see a back tattoo. The notion that the coach is going to publicly criticize a player over it, shows a problem with the coach. Best to start looking for a new club.

  2. Being a fan of the German National Football Team for a long time and following their players and youth setup, I want to clear up a few things about certain players.

    First and foremost, the current German team and eneration has a lot of players with dual identities
    Boateng (Germany/Ghana) Mesut Ozil (Germany/Turkey) Sami Khedira (Germany/Tunisia) and the list can go on. People wondering if the DFB is “butthurt” about losing John Brooks and Julian Green to the USA, I highly doubt it. There is a ton of talent within the DFB so they are not upset about it.

    1) Jermaine Jones – Was a German youth International all the way up until around 2008-2009, He was a never a regular on the Senior team, but made some rosters and a few friendlies here and there. After Euro 2008, Jogi Low and Germany were in a transitional period on their style of play and Jones didn’t fit the style and didn’t really have a future with the German Senior Team. He then opted to play for the USA after that.

    2) Fabian Johnson – Like Jermaine Jones, Fabian went thru the youth setup all the way to the U21s even won the Euro 2009 U21 Championship with current players like Manuel Neuer, Sami Khedira, Mats Hummels etc. That summer certain players from that team made the jump to the senior team. The thing with Fabian was he was playing second division with 1860 Munich and was moved all over the field, unlike his counterparts in Neuer, Khedira Ozil who were all starters for their club team and played in one position. This made it difficult for Fabian to get promoted to the Senior National Team because, he was playing 2nd division football, and he didn’t have one position he really thrived at to get Jogi’s attention

    Danny Williams – Was called up for the Germany U15 team at the time, but never really got called in after that

    Terrence Boyd – Was never in the German Youth Setup

    John Anthony Brooks – Was called in a few times with the Germany U20 team but alternated a bit with the US Youth teams aswell

    Julian Green – Similar to Brooks, he too spent time between both the German and Youth US teams, but was called in Earlier to the Germany system earlier then Brooks

    ** Kevin Prince Boateng** – Just to address his storytoo, He like Fabian Johnson, were in the same age group and could’ve gone together to the Euro 2009 U21 Tournament, thing is Prince had a lot of disciplinary issues that the DFB weren’t too happy about it. He then opted to play for Ghana that year

      • Well, maybe.

        You see, he made his poor decision to cover his back in ink last season. If he learned nothing from that mistake, then yes, we could say that he is “the same moron.” But if he learned from it or other events since then—i.e., gained responsibility and maturity—then it would be unfair and inaccurate to say that he is “exactly” the “same.”

      • A young talented player having inconsistent games, doesn’t make him a moron….in fact it’s pretty common with young CBs.

        People act like he committed a crime or something…if I have a son and his biggest mistake in his young life is getting a back tattoo at the wrong time, I’d be ok with that.

  3. Let’s face it. Brooks crushed expectations for us this summer but he is far from a finished product. His coach is dead right about his inconsistent performances, though the penalty may be harsh.

    WAKE UP CALL, SON! Time to cut out the back tattoos and dream recalls, and focus on beoming a proper professional. It’s well within his grasp.

  4. Would this be happening to a German player? Or a European player? I kind of doubt it, but would be interested to hear examples from fans who watch Euro soccer more than I do.

    Any HB/USMNT fanatics out there? How bad has Brooks been, really?

      • The Germans are butthurt he jumped their U20 setup and joined the USMNT. They didn’t like losing Julian Green either, and (retroactively) admitted they made a mistake not jumping on Fabian Johnson, who most Germans will admit would have started for them at RB this past World Cup.

        Jermaine Jones we were welcome to – he was never popular in Germany – the others stung some. Do I think that has something to do with this? I do. The average German is a lot more nationalistic – and racist, many of them not even quietly – than the average American; sure, there are plenty of exceptions, but they are…well behind the US, in this regard. (Eastern Europe isn’t even trying.) And there’s a very definite sense the USA was poaching their guys, and that these guys were taking advantage of the system that trained and invested in them. (Think how butthurt we were over Rossi!)

        Hard to believe this isn’t playing a role here.

      • come on you really can`t be that dense. Johnson, Brooks and Green are just average by german standards, if they really wanted them they would have capped them a while ago, why would they be butthurt? because USSF cant make a semi decent team without using their leftovers? the guys basically walked all the way to the WC final.

      • Brooks and Green were seen as young and unproven but with potential. Fabian Johnson definitely would have made their World Cup squad. I am not picking things out the sky here. I used to live in Germany, still have friends who live in Germany and follow German football and the Mannschaft quite a bit.FJ definitely would have been on the squad the word is. The other two not so much because they are young and unproven but there is a little blow-back that JK keeps scouring the German system for US dual nationals etc.

      • Nonsense, there are tons of dual nationals in Germany who chose their other country and it has never hurt their career. See KP Boateng, and his switch was much more controversial and high- profile than any German-American one. We just won the World Cup, ffs, we are not going to be upset about a couple of average players chosing the US.

        The bigger problem, for me, seems to be the Hertha youth system. Players that come through it seem to have a strangely lax attitude (partying, getting tattoos during the running season) that often hurts them on the top level, like Ebert, just to mention one.

        And Luhukay does send German players to the U23 if he doesn’t like their attitude. Happened to Nico Schulz, to mention just one. And he worked his way out of the U23 again.

      • They would have totally love to have Johnson this summer. They started Mustafi at rightback until he got injured. Not only was Mustafi actually a CB. He was terrible.

        Johnson is an above average rightback. He is an excellent attacker but only a mediocre defender. The problem is you think there are other German RB out there. But really it was Lahm and then nothing.

      • This. I can also vogue for the fact that the likelihood of Fabian Johnson being the RB was enormously high. Germany is bereft of fullbacks that can get in the attack. Lahm is one but they wanted him in the midfield.

      • Honestly, were they really that bummed over Julian Green? I thought they would be… but I didn’t hear much about it actually. Seems they either saw it coming, or just didn’t care. The outrage was nothing like Iceland’s response to AJ.

        Not hating on Green, just seemed like there wasn’t much fightback– almost seemed odd.

      • Green is just another guy at his position where Gotze, Reus, and so many other are in front of him. That is why, even if he becomes star, he was probably 8 years out from a world cup, if ever.

        Iceland is no where near as deep as Germany or many teams in Europe and losing a potential star striker was not palatable in the least (loosely using that term)

      • A lot of my German friends joke with me that they love Americans but sometimes find them spoiled and entitled.

        Your post is an example of why they feel that way.

        Brooks is a young athlete and clearly needs to mature and find his way. It is my belief that Americans are not alone in this regard.and that if he had somehow committed to Germany he might very well still have had these issues.

      • +1

        Furthermore, the average German doesn’t respect the average American. And if we really want to cut through the pleasantries, most Germans have a great deal of scorn and disdain for the German Mothers and their biracial children fathered by African-American servicemen. That is a fact.

        Please come to MLS! I truly hope Jermaine Jones (who might make NE the favorite to win the MLS cup) is an trailblazer for his German-American brethren.

      • “And if we really want to cut through the pleasantries, most Germans have a great deal of scorn and disdain for the German Mothers and their biracial children fathered by African-American servicemen. That is a fact.”


      • Not nonsense. I speak from personal experience.
        By the way, who is the German MLK, Jr.? Is it your belief that German society (who turned a blind eye to the rise of a racist dictator less than 75 years ago) has made drastic changes on it’s own? I don’t need to go in to my experiences to validate my knowledge of the situation, but you are totally wrong if you think race relations in the USA are at all comparable to the way it is in Germany. I’m sorry but that view is laughably naive.

      • Of course you can`t compare race relation in the USA and Germany. In the US unarmed black teenagers are shot in the street by the police and 1 in 3 blacks will go to jail someday.

      • “The average German is a lot more nationalistic – and racist, many of them not even quietly – than the average American; sure, there are plenty of exceptions, but they are…well behind the US, in this regard. ”

        Rubbish. Americans are 10x more nationalistic than Germans. And as far as racism is concerned – Germany and the US are not that much different.

      • I happen to personally know every German and every American, so I can decisively end this otherwise pointless debate about which group is more nationalistic, how they view/judge each other, etc.

      • This is a total load of garbage to say that these two countries are “not that different” when it comes to race relations. Furthermore, that statement is a total slap in the face of every Civil Rights leader and all other individuals who work for progress in this area. Germany is not even on square one of this issue. Ask Jermaine Jones his candid thoughts on race relations in Germany. You need an education. Most likely, your white privilege is blinding you and I find it offensive.

      • You need to get over yourself. Who the heck made you the arbiter of whose racist or not? I find it offensive that you’re using a soccer forum to spew BS cultural marxist gibberish like “white privilege”. GTHOH dude.

      • Jermaine Jones grew up in a poverty (single mother,social benefits) in Germany – he doesn`t know what it means to grow up under similar circumstances in the US.

        “Germany is not even on square one of this issue”

        As long as 1 in 3 African-American males will serve some time in jail, you cannot seriously claim that blacks are better off in the US than in Germany…

      • Quozzel’s right. I mean the Germans must crying all over the World Cup trophy after losing those three. Must be a traumatic experience for them.

    • The idea that this decision is based on his national team choice is pretty ridiculous. Jos Luhukay isn’t even German so what does he care?

      Pretty sure no one in Germany cares at all about guys like Brooks or Green choosing the USMNT since they have dozens of players (no exaggeration) just as good or better. Johnson arguably would have made the German squad but you may have noticed that the guy they played at RB isn’t bad.

      • Using sarcasm to criticism somebody for sarcasm was pretty awesome, I thought. Unclear if it was intentional, but I liked it.

      • Kicker Mag did a rating of all the Bundesliga coaches over the past 3 seasons and Luhukay was near the bottom. While he did keep Berlin from relegation last year (barely) their awful start this season has him scrambling for answers before the boot comes down…on him. One source of those answers lies with the performance of the team members. Some coaches believe they can get WC like performance out of their players every weekend and when that does not happen…blame the player. This appears to be the case. Love or Hate Klinsmann, he brought out some good…and some great performances from some players, but only so-so from others. Players get their motivation from different sources, and a good coach knows where to find that inspiration and motivation for the players.

        I suspect that if Luhukay does not find that player talisman soon, and based on his record, he will not, he will be long gone before Brooks.

      • Probably why the differing stories about him being “cut.” Im guessing that the manager would rather him be cut and the front office is thinking, hold on, we can either get a transfer out of him at some point or he comes back up when we fire the manager in the next couple weeks if the fecal matter play doesnt end.”

  5. Are you reading this, Seattle Sounders?

    (He can’t be worse than the inconsistent partners they already have alongside Marshall, but at least he holds potential for improvement.)

      • What Chad Marshall “thing”?

        Every team needs two solid CBs. Seattle has one: Chad Marshall. (Who is more than solid; arguably the best CB in MLS right now.) They desperately need another, especially with their B- option (Zach Scott) going down injured.

      • Still on this Chad Marshall thing ?

        Chad should have been in the WCup team. Count me in for being on the Chad Marshall thing.

        As for getting Brooks, my guess is not enough CAP money…..but with the new CBA ???? And LH USOC allocation money ??…..hmmm.

      • If Chad would have had the good fortune of moving to Seattle a year earlier I bet he makes the World Cup squad. Not only because of his ability but Sigi and Jurgen have a good communicable relationship from all indications. Dempsey, Evans, Yedlin, Morris, and quite possibly in January Neagle

      • Um starting for the a Bundesliga’s Reserve squad now. I really didnt hear much in the way of transfer rumor either about him. Hertha are far from broke as can be but if the coach already had a problem with him, he may have been all for a sale.

  6. really a bad situation for his playing time until he can get out of there in January. don’t know the whole story, and JAB certainly has had his issues, but the coach seems like he’s being a bit ridiculous with how he is handling JAB.

    • I think he needs to grow as a player, he has a history with the US itself of both doing wonderful things and having awful games (Bosnia). Whether it’s at the same team is a more complicated question. Is the coach a jerk or is he performing inconsistently? Possibly both.


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