By CAITLIN MURRAY
Ashton Gotz still lacks an American passport, but it’s looking all the more likely the Hamburg defender will be asked to train with the U.S. Men’s National Team next month.
With U.S. Soccer scout Matthias Hamann overseeing the young German-American’s progress, Gotz is expected to be called in for USMNT friendlies against Denmark and Switzerland at the end of March. His passport likely won’t be in place by then, but he will get to train with the team.
“That way, he can get to know the environment ahead of time so everything isn’t new,” Hamann told Hamburger Morgenpost.
According to Gotz’s agent, the U.S. Soccer Federation is working with Gotz to help him obtain an American passport.
“Jürgen Klinsmann called him and gave him a contact to the federation so he is trying now, with help, to get an American passport first,” Gotz’s agent, Bjorn Gerke, told SBI this week. “Other things will come after this procedure.”
While Gotz is eligible for U.S. citizenship, the process for him to obtain it and thus be eligible to play for the national team might prove a bit complicated. Some of his required paperwork may need to come from his father, but Gotz has never met him.
The Hamburg SV defender has been to the U.S. twice — once with Hamburg’s U-16 squad for a tournament and once to visit an uncle in Chicago — but said he enjoyed it and “the people are very open and friendly.”
Gotz, who can play as a fullback or defensive midfielder, has been with Hamburg SV’s reserve team since 2011 and recently broke into the first team, which was when Klinsmann and Hamann took notice.
“When he increasingly started to be used in HSV’s first team at the end of 2014, it became concrete,” Hamann said.
Gotz plays in Hamburg alongside another German-American who was recruited by Klinsmann: Julian Green, who joined the Americans shortly before the 2014 World Cup and went on to score in the tournament’s knockout round.
“This is an opportunity that I would like to take advantage of,” Gotz told Hamburger Morgenpost. “But Hamburg SV is the priority for me, of course.”
What do you think of this development? What do you think of Gotz being put on a fast track to join the USMNT? Think it’s a good idea to bring him in to train with the Americans?
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