Top Stories

Hertha Berlin unhappy with USMNT handling of Brooks injury


John Brooks has rejoined Hertha Berlin ahead of Tuesday’s U.S. Men’s National Team clash with Guatemala, and the German club is far from happy with the condition the centerback is returning in.

Hertha sporting director Michael Preetz said that Brooks’ early return from international duty “raises a few questions” as Brooks looks set to miss out on the club’s clash with Borussia Monchengladbach due to injury.

Brooks previously picked up a slight knock in Hertha’s 2-1 win over Ingolstadt on March 19. While Preetz says there is a chance Brooks “underestimated” his ailment, the club would be frustrated to lose Brooks for a clash between the Bundesliga’s third and fifth-placed teams.

“It was all a bit curious and certainly not ideal,” Preetz told German outlet Kicker. “John boarded the plane without any acute problems and returns injured. It raises a few questions.

“It might have made sense to keep him here in Berlin for one more day to see how things developed. Instead, he now has 30 flight hours in his bones. And the U.S. association keeps him on site for four, five days without any real examination.”


  1. ““John boarded the plane without any acute problems” and then “And the U.S. association keeps him on site for four, five days without any real examination.””

    He didn’t have any “acute problems” so why would they have examined him?

  2. Soccer is unique and I sympathize with clubs because they pay the salary of players. Especially with matches and competitions going on now 11 months out of the year, the wear and tear on players bodies is inevitable.

    With that said, I’m not sure why people are automatically siding with the clubs. They also benefit from players playing internationally as it often adds value to the player in the transfer market and can help expose them to greater competition.

    My only question: Is this a real injury or one of those feigned injuries clubs claim like Borussia Mönchengladbach did for Fabian Johnson. You know, the player that went home due to injury and we read the headlines the club confirmed his injury…only to immediately go 90 minutes in 4 straight matches within 11 days upon returning.

    By, yea, clubs have all the credibility in the world on this topic and are exempt from criticism. At least when Jurgen Klinsmann is involved.

    • Thank you for pointing out what ACTUALLY happened to FJ. I would think the JKDS crowd is using this to blame Klinsi for something that Hertha should accept at least some of the responsibility. Here’s what we know: Hertha says JK received a “knock in most recent game; JB flies to Guatemala from Germany; Brooks returns injured; club claims injury is worse because he had 30 more flight hours on his bones.

      Isn’t it possible that the “knock” COMBINED with 15 hours of flying (I think almost all those European flights to Central and South America go through Miami) just to arrive in Guatemala, JB felt worse than when he left? IMO, then Hertha complained about the flight time on the injury, despite being fully aware that they were potentially exacerbating it? It isn’t a given he injured himself during training or if physio staff improperly treated him. Yet all the Klinsmann haters automatically assume it’s his fault. For the record, I have been a strong supporter, BUT I would fire him for failing to qualify for the WC.

  3. I can understand why they would be upset. He picked up what appeared to be a “slight knock”, and since he was set to join USMNT camp the next day they sent him off in good faith that our training/coaching staff would consider the player’s health as paramount. Brooks comes back five days later and he’s much worse than when he left.

    Though I understand their frustration, I think Brooks is the one who is probably most responsible for this. Player’s want to play, and Brooks certainly wants to represent his nation and secure the starting LCB spot. Most young players undersale their knocks until they turn into injuries–and sure it’s on the training staff to sniff out the BS–but it isn’t always so easy, and you have to rely to a certain extent on what the player is telling you about their pain levels.

  4. Whining at its best. The real culprit here seems to be his club team Hertha. They either didn’t fully examine his ailment thus missing the severity of it or they or they didn’t think he could further injure it which us still incompetence on their part. Injuries happen in sport and if he was already injured they should have never released him so taking some semblance of responsibility here would look better on them.

    • The way JK has operated, even if Hertha told USSF that Brooks was hurt, our fearless leader would have called him in anyway. Ex: Fabian Johnson. And wasted another player’s time.

      So maybe you are right. But there are too many instances of none sense stories for me to give JK the benefit of the doubt.

      I recognize the possibility of Brooks having a knock that he did not disclose and made it worse in US training. Which goes along with your point.

      Sigh. The real story is about the guys playing tonight. Let’s get it done.

  5. Same old stuff from Euro clubs being frustrated by CONCACAF call ups. There is nothing new here and while unfortunate in timing, nothing to blame JK for.

    • This is not limited to CONCACAF. If you follow soccer news, there is this constant tension between club teams and national teams of all locations and levels. Probably every international date there is some club complaining about their player being injured on international duty. And sometimes vice versa.

      • You are right Gary. I am a CONCACAF apologist though, so most of my comments are related to CONCACAF and the USMNT.

        My favorite example of old fashioned colonialism from Euro soccer was the threat of AC Milan to sue the USSF when Gooch started to get hurt those many years ago. Sorry, aging myself again.

      • Speaking of Gooch, I actually lost respect for him during that injury process.

        Not sure if anyone remembers, but Onyewu offered (and AC Milan accepted) to finish out the remaining 12 months of his contract for free because he injured himself while playing for the U.S. While most applauded it as “classy” (with some merit to that) I would argue the move was feeble, embarrassing and weakened the perception of U.S./CONCACAF players.

        Injuries happen. It’s a part of sports. In most cases, however, they don’t deserve an apology and when Gooch crawled back to AC Milan and figuratively apologized for getting injured while playing for his country it opened ridiculous actions like the prospect of AC Milan suing the USSF for his injury.

        Fans that applauding Gooch in that moment were misguided and more specifically found themselves applauding CONCACAF being looked down upon and bullied.

  6. Klinsmann keeps calling in injured people with hopes they get better. He has no faith in our talent pool at all. Calling in a 17 year old before this game proves it

    • yep this is not the game to waste a start or a sub on a kid with no senior team experience. Shows once again that Klinsmann’s first criteria when judging talent is whether or not they play in Germany.

  7. Don’t blame these clubs at all for protecting their players. Because it seems more evident everyday that Klinsmann doesn’t know what he’s doing and is in over his head.

    • That is utter nonsense. This is nothing more than club moaning. It happens ALL the time. Fergie and Wenger are two of the biggest whingers. MLS teams tend to moan less. If you play, you are likely to get injured. He was injured when he got on the plane. He exerted himself in scrimmages and exacerbated the injury. Klinsy and his team took a look at his knee then sent him home. He easily could have kept him and gave him painkillers a la American football.

      And before you say anything, I am NOT a JK apologist.

      • Calling up multiple injured players (Brooks, Jozy, FJ) and hoping they can all round into shape by gametime after a trans-atlantic flight is moronic and poor planning. It’s a major gamble and leaves the team short in the event that one of your healthy players picks up a knock in training. It would be one thing if the player in question was Ronaldo and you were as dependant on him as Portugal is, but the pool of Americans is filled with players who are roughly equivalent playing beatable regional opponent.

      • You can argue Jozy who has not played, but who can replace him. In terms of Brooks, neither he or the club thought it was a big deal. With FJ, they wanted to look at him and he has not been practicing so he did not exacerbate the injury. However, keep in mind a coach can call him as many players as he wants, so these three guys did not “take anyone’s place”. You are only limited in terms of the people you can dress for the game. I thin called up 26 so 3 more than the 23, anyway.

        Again, I am not a JK defenders.

    • Get real. Brooks is the future of the team at CB and was going to start two games in
      WC qualifying. You think Klinsmann told the trainer to ignore him or do something that might further an injury to a key player? Ridiculous supposition. Democrats complain that Republicans have Obama Derangement Syndrome (ODS) when they come up with illogical and implausible charges. Some people on this site have adopted a KDS or Klinsmann Derangement Syndrome.

      • How am I surprised the number #1 Klinsmann apologist is out in full force to defend JK. The facts are that Klinsmann is less than credible after getting upset when his best player was hurt after the Mexico game. Maybe FJ should have continued to play or maybe FJ realized that his replacement was better off finishing the game that he was. We don’t know and probably will never know, but is a piece of the puzzle. You can also go back to the WC when Klinsmann brought an injured Johannsson on the team. He failed to plan properly, and Jozy’s injury exposed his selections, especially one in which was gifted to Julian Green, who can’t even start for the U23s. This was a similar situation to the Guatemala disaster.

        There’s no bigger fan of Brooks than me, I believe he should be starting every game at LCB when available since he plays at a high level and has massive potential. But the US has 5 or 6 similarly rated CBs right now, and if one isn’t 100% call up someone like Tim Ream, who we know can get the job done against a poor side like Guate and is a capable reserve at multiple positions. Instead Brooks isn’t 100%, Besler gets hurt in training, FJ is called in injured as well and the US is forced to play a player that hasn’t started for his club in a while because the injury gambles are taking up valuable roster spots. The lack of planning and poor selection process definitely shows up multiple times.

        Also please leave politics out of this. You do not know my political affiliation and it is completely out of bounds on a sports website. I come here to escape that.

      • JK is inept. Explain to me how a guy at the helm for 5 years gets out smarted by Guatemala and their 2 month old new Coach. 2 months at the helm!!! Ridiculous!!!!

      • Gary, Klinsmann has earned contempt for the way he has mis-managed the national team. So, frankly, has Obama in mis-managing the Presidency. That’s not “derangement syndrome.” That’s fact.

      • Another saga in the club vs country row! This has been going in for years and years and it’s hard to know who to blame so we’re better off letting this thing play out. I will say however, and this has been one of my biggest gripes with JK, Jurgen has a propensity to call in players who are injured to these camps and he’s done it for every major tournament we’ve played in. It is assumed by many that JK plays favorites, idk if that’s true or not but you do get the sense that if he’s knowingly calling in an injured player when there are other healthier options available then that assumption has some merit to it.

Leave a Comment