Brooks won’t play for U.S. at Under-20 World Cup

JABrooks (Getty)

By IVES GALARCEP

NEW YORK- Hertha Berlin defender John Anthony Brooks was considered a potential star addition for the U.S. Under-20 National Team heading into this summer’s Under-20 World Cup, but his delay in making a final decision has led to Brooks being left out of the U.S. team’s plans for the World Cup in Turkey.

“Everybody knows we’ve been following Brooks for a couple of years now,” Ramos said. “We’ve been inviting him to camps, he played with us in November, 2011, in a camp we had overseas. Last year, in September I decided to go to Germany and meet with him. He was very good about the meeting. He was very committed to us and the future, but yet, all the camps we’ve called him after he, for whatever reason, couldn’t make it.

“This particular month, obviously we had a FIFA deadline to meet,” Ramos said. “We gave him a deadline. We gave him a date. He couldn’t meet that deadline for us to get all the paperwork in so we’ve left him out of the 35-man roster.

“He cannot play for us.”

Brooks enjoyed a breakout season for Hertha Berlin, helping lead the club to promotion to the Bundesliga after finishing atop Bundesliga 2. The 6-foot-4 centerback would have been projected as a starting centerback on the U.S. Under-20 team, but now he won’t be on the team.

So does the Brooks omission from the U-20 World Cup team mean he won’t play for the United States eventually? Not necessarily. The German-born defender has also been left out of this summer’s German Under-21 European Championship squad, so at this point it appears Brooks has yet to make a decision on his ultimate senior national team future.

Brooks skipping this summer’s youth tournaments shouldn’t be completely surprising given the fact he just completed his first full season as a starting pro, playing more soccer in the past eight months than he ever had.

Brooks could theoretically still be a part of the U.S. Gold Cup team, though U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has stated that he would prefer not to include European-based players on the Gold Cup team who aren’t part of the World Cup qualifying squad in June. That said, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that Klinsmann would make an exception for a 19-year-old centerback prospect like Brooks.

The U.S. centerback situation is in a state of flux on the Under-20 team, with converted midfielders Caleb Stanko and Shane O’Neill starting in CONCACAF qualifying. Walker Zimmerman is working his way back from injury, but Ramos made it sound as though Zimmerman still has a ways to go to be considered a leading candidate to make the U.S. Under-20 World Cup team.

What do you think of this development? Disappointed that Brooks won’t be on the U.S. Under-20 team at the World Cup? Still holding out hope he plays for the senior national team? Starting to worry he will join the list of players who passed on playing for the United States?

Share your thoughts below.

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114 Responses to Brooks won’t play for U.S. at Under-20 World Cup

  1. bryan says:

    that’s too bad. it will be interesting to see how this plays out though.

    • Mike says:

      He has little to no chance of playing for Germany. He could play in the U-20 WC or possibly join our senior team later this year, although with the Gold Cup being around the same time as the start of the BL I would not be surprised if it’s during qualifying.

      • Josh D says:

        He could make their u21s and seeing what level of soccer he’s playing now, at his young age, it’s very easy to see him one day breaking into the full Germany squad.

        I don’t blame him for holding off. The u20 World Cup is hardly huge, at least not big enough to determine the rest of his international career. It just makes Tab look stupider for coming out last week and saying he Brooks was leaning toward us and he expected a decision a few days after that interview. As my mother always says: “Don’t count your chickens before the eggs hatch.”

        Brooks is a more mobile, technically sounder Gooch. Depending on how he does next season, he could make the World Cup team for us in Brazil. If there’s any chance we can lock him into the Gold Cup squad, Klinsi would be a fool to say so. However, reading Tab’s quotes, it’s obvious, to his knowledge, Klinsi has no intention or Brooks has none to go.

        The tug of war is not over yet. If Germany were that interested in him, I would have thought they would have cup tied him in these friendlies. That would have been a slap in the face to us: cap tie him against us, in DC, at RFK…

        • Socom 2 says:

          kinda like guiseppi rossi at the confederations cup

          • Riggity says:

            As soon as Ramos opened his fat mouth I knew we were screwed.

            • Zac says:

              +1 Me too

            • chris_thebassplayer says:

              I agree, sounded like he was trying to influence a decision with the presumptive positive spin. His recent comments sound more like sour grapes. He should just lay low and stop talking.

        • Riggity says:

          ??? How can Brooks be cap tied during a friendly? You have to play in a FIFA competition(full team) to be cap tied. Jermaine Jones has played friendlies for Germany but he never played in a competition.

        • GW says:

          JAB playing against the US for Germany at RFK would not tie him to Germany .

          What makes you think there is any bad blood between the German FA and the USSF?

          If money is on the line and they bring most of their best, they will beat the US at least 3 out of 4 and everyone knows it.
          Why would they want to slap the US in the face?

        • biff says:

          “It just makes Tab look stupider…” — Josh D

          What a crock! In my opinion, it is great and refreshing that Tab is being straight-forward and holding John Anthony Brooks accountable for the commitment he made last year. As I said in my initial post yesterday, Tab’s key statement is: “He was very committed to us and the future…”

          It sounds to me like Tab might be a bit miffed and he has every right to be because Brooks broke the commitment and I respect Tab for being open about it.

          Timothy Chandler made the same strong words of commitment in September 2011 right after Klinsmann came on board and then started waffling on that commitment and basically doing a PR campaign to try to get an invite from Jogi Low and Germany.

          I see on this thread statements like, well, but Brooks and Chandler is just kids and a hard decision and we gotta be understanding and blah blah blah. Well, they are both men, albeit young men, and they both verbally committed to the US and they both broke the commitments. Tab is saying clearly that he flew to Europe to talk to Brooks and Brooks committed. Why treat Brooks like a little baby and excuse him for breaking his commitment? After Chandler in 2011 broke his commitment, he played in one WCQ game while some fans are angry at Landon Donovan who has done more for the USMNT the past decade than any other single player.

          The broken commitments by Brooks and Chandler, indicate not only a genuine unbreakable desire to wear the shirt, but a lack of character. And no one can tell me that character is not a key trait in the players on the USMNT.

          • JJ says:

            Timmy was always commited to play for the US. Jurgen said so, Timmy said so the reason he rejected call ups were due to injuries and bad form and yet look at what shirt he is wearing. Ours so be patient with Brooks

        • DoubleD says:

          You can’t cap tie in a friendly…. man I wish people would understand the rules before they post anything with the phrase “Cap Tie”

      • dude says:

        I don’t see why this is true. He’s not even twenty yet, is starting for a club that will soon be promoted, all signs point to him being a successful international in the future. We’re not talking about a playmaker or a striker, we’re talking about a CB who has plenty of talent and incredible upside. By all accounts, he’s got excellent feet, height, and soccer IQ. If he becomes a star in the Bundesliga, there’s no telling how high he can climb.

        Him deciding whether or not to play for Germany or the US is a very serious decision, one which he intends on making soon. Germany is interested in him, or this wouldn’t be so difficult. I could see him being a part of Germany’s next generation when he’s older, or he could get a callup for us before this cycle is even over. The situation is still a bird in the hand, but if that bird is Germany, that’s a big deal.

        • Socom 2 says:

          The funny thing is the few times Ive watched him play, he got smoked by the forwards and was only saved by his keeper

        • louis z says:

          he is already getting the call ups, the problem is he is not answering the phone.

          • dude says:

            Really? He was called up for the Gold Cup? Or for the upcoming qualifiers?

            I’m quite aware he’s getting youth team call ups- his actual involvement int he Gold Cup is not what most of us are talking about, but rather his participation for a full national team side. He can either get into the US national team fold before this WC cycle is over, or he can wait till he’s mature enough and hope for a call from Germany. The reason this is causing a stir is because he’s said recently that he will choose soon, and this is not a good sign.

        • Brett says:

          He is really not that good unless compared to the US crop of defenders. At least a dozen German central defenders are beyond him and still getting better, whereas compared to our pool he’d already be a second-team player.

    • Ak says:

      Yawn. Let’s focus on raising our own good players.

  2. murray braun says:

    He’s holding out for Germany to call him soon.

    • Joe+G says:

      Not sure there’s anything to call him into. U21s have already picked their roster. He is eligible for 2015 U21 Euros.

  3. David says:

    We can now start to focus on the 35 guys who are committed to the program for this tournament and the eventually final roster that opens the tournament against France, Spain, and Ghana. It would be nice to have Brooks want to play for the US, but since he never has appeared in either a friendly or a competitive game it’s hard to be upset about somebody who never suited up.

  4. Old School says:

    I was looking forward to seeing this kid play. Ah well, next man up.

  5. downintexas says:

    “Brooks could theoretically still be a part of the U.S. Gold Cup team, though U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has stated that he would prefer not to include European-based players”

    Well when did JK ever do anything he says?????

    • Old School says:

      Oh brother….

      • downintexas says:

        why? I think as a manager regardless of what profession you need to stay consistant. If you say one thing but do or appear to do the opposite you just look like you are playing games.

        • Old School says:

          I can only speak for me, but I don’t care if a manager is honest or deceptive through the media. Whether or not that’s been the case with JK isn’t my concern.

          What does matter? The players in the locker room. Since I’m not in the locker room and I’m not going based off spineless reporting from “anonymous” sources, I’m not going to question his integrity.

          People can fairly question his tactics (I’ve been one of them). People can question his general approach or his roster selections.

          However, anything beyond that just appears to be a motive you (or anyone) already previous harbored of dislike for the man.

          • Todd T says:

            You can speak for me as well…nicely said.

          • Kosh says:

            + 1

            Folks use the snippets or data they have out here mixed with their personal biases to paint JK as lacking integrity or wishy-washy or worse.

            Nothing is fixed and different situations (injury or whatnot) factor into call-ups.

            • downintexas says:

              well apparently I said something horrible wrong cause my message is being approved by the mod. Old School what did you do???? ha j/k

          • downintexas says:

            Yeah I’m questioning his tactics in managing players. It seems to me atleast that saying X but doing Y can’t be too helpful. But maybe he explains that to the players and not to the fans. Plus I could care less about that reporter and his anonymous sources.

            All I can say is I’ve taken my rose colored Klinsman glasses off. I’ll give him credit when credit is due, but will call him out when he needs it.

            I guess I wished he would not paint himself into corners by making blanket statements then seemingly doing the opposite. Maybe that has to do with his language/culture barrier.

            • Kosh says:

              It was gla$$es that got you in Mod review limbo, by the way.

              As for your post, JK speaks very good if not perfect English. Cultural gaps usually seep in at the subtext (the whole it’s not what you say but how you say it) level. Then you can compound the effect by reading the written word and missing out on the visual queues that come from watching someone speak. Perhaps that’s where the percieved inconsistency comes from? I dunno. Just trying to figure it out.

              Oh and by the way my JK gla$$es, they are violet tinted. Thank you very much. :-)

            • biff says:

              @downintexas: But Klinsmann is the boss and, quite frankly, can do whatever he wants. In other words, he can say that regular club play is a prerequisite to getting a call-up but then can turn around and call up players who have been warming benches or not even dressed for two months, while completely ignoring players who are starting every game at the club level and playing well. Some might find this hypocritical, but it does make sense to do this because it shows that he is being creative in his decision making, you know, looking at more than just on-field performance. He is looking at the big picture, so to speak. Plus, the guys he calls in who aren’t playing at the club level are happy to get the invite and that is good for the camp atmosphere. Obviously, guys who got called in are happy. As for the guys who are playing regularly at the club level and not getting called in, well, maybe they are playing too much at their clubs and the rest from international duty will do them good. It also will help build character. It all makes sense, I think.

              • downintexas says:

                I agree he is the boss and can do what he wants. But lets say your boss says you have to reach this certain benchmark to get promoted. You do that, then some one else gets promoted who has not done anything. What would you think of your boss. Does not sound like being creative.

            • Old School says:

              We’ve knocked off Mexico in Mexico and drew most recently.

              His record is with the Nats nothing to ignore either.

              I’d be the first to admit a failure in “redefining” our style of play that was suggested, promised or eluded to.

              People actually complained about beating Costa Rica in the snow, because it was an ugly match, and they didn’t consider it a real result (these were admittedly American posters). This shocked me until I realized people that have made up their mind refuse to change and look for every excuse to “be right”.

              *Raises Hand* Not a fan of his tactics. I’ve questioned some of his selections….but I refuse to ignore the results. Unsexy at times? Absolutely. Results are results, though.

              The ultimate goal is still in reach and I’m going to ride this out…even if I disagree, there’s a reason he’s in a position to manage and not me.

        • GW says:

          ditexas

          “ I think as a manager regardless of what profession you need to stay consistant.”

          If you read all his interviews, and as USMNT fan I’m sure I’ve read the majority of them at least once, JK has been very consistent. This is because most everything he has ever said comes with a qualifier and he has not been shy about using his “exceptions”. And he has given plausible explanations for the “exceptional” situations. Many here may not believe his explanations or like them but they are plausible.

          A manager in his situation is guaranteed to be faced with a multitude of complex situations and to have a series of iron clad, unbendable rules for dealing with them is a recipe for failure.

          From what I’ve read it looks like most of the critics are reacting to the headlines not the details of what is actually happening. This may shock you but people have, at times, posted on this site without actually reading in depth what Ives’ article actually says.

          “If you say one thing but do or appear to do the opposite you just look like you are playing games.”

          A lot of managers in Europe do not always explain their moves to their players. Players just show up in training and do what they are told. I don’t know if this is JK’s MO or not.
          If he does talk to his players about these things how do you know what he tells them?

          You are acting as if what JK tells you and the media is what he tells his players. The thing is, you aren’t one of his players.

          In terms of what the real players actually feel, I don’t really care. However, I do see them giving their all on the field, which is all I care about.

          As a manager myself, I give people a job because I trust them to do it. I check in from time to time but basically leave them alone to do their job. JK is doing his job.
          • The team are well placed in qualifying.
          • They appear to be moving towards being a more cohesive unit.
          • Once injuries heal and fitness returns the player pool looks to be promising in the near future.

          Are they the attractive attacking team JK promised? No, but he never said that would happen overnight and in fact said it was a long term process.

          Fans may not like the reversion to the more conservative model but advancing to the WC is probably the only way JK can fulfill his promise of becoming a team that plays that attractive style everyone thinks the US fans are entitled to. All the great teams, even Spain, are defensively sound first.

          Right now most of what I see is positive and the assorted controversies, LD, Shea, Holden, Dolo, etc. strike me as no big deal.

  6. Teemu Selanne says:

    Maybe if he legally changed his name to Juan Antonio, Tab would select him.

    • Brian S. says:

      Tab did select him. It clearly says in the article that you obviously browsed over that he did not commit in time to meet the FIFA required deadline. Ramos wanted him there. It was Brooks’ decision not to come.

    • Socom 2 says:

      I thought that was funny seeing there is barely any mexican american players on the U-17 team

    • slowleftarm says:

      Yeah because Klinsmann doesn’t select any Mexican-American players

    • Riggity says:

      I think Teemu needs to find the “Hockey By Ives” site

  7. WK says:

    he probably wouldnt have turned down the German U-21 callup if it had come, but taking a rest after playing his 1st full season is smart.

  8. QuakerOtis says:

    If Landon Donavan isn’t on the GC squad, this kid shouldn’t get the call-up either.

    Come to think of it, no one should be on the Gold Cup team if Donovan isn’t. Let’s never field a team again until LD 2002 is reincarnated, or until John Connor sends him back to give birth to himself a decade earlier and kill all the machines before the nuke goes off and the USA wins WC 1994!!! Yeah guys!!!

  9. biff says:

    This is the key statement from Tab: “He was very good about the meeting. He was very committed to us and the future, but yet, all the camps we’ve called him after he, for whatever reason, couldn’t make it.”

    John Anthony Brooks sounds a lot like Timothy Chandler. It’s obvious his heart is not there. I know some of the hand-wringers out there who want to cap-time every foreign born American soccer player in the world (because they just gotta be better than players born in the USA) will disagree, but I will say it anyway. The USMNT will survive quite nicely without Brooks, and might even be better off with CBs who feel the desire to wear the US shirt in every cell in their bodies. Let’s move on, folks.

    • Steve says:

      Very disappointed about JAB. Starting to see these dual nationals as a spectrum, those who are eligible for both but live for USA, those who are eligible for both but confused as to where they belong, and those who are eligible for both but wan’t something besides USA. Unfortunately, JAB sounds like he might be in the last category, which does not bode well for his future here. Once you show that card its hard to be respected as a serious candidate. Oh well, best to move along.

      …and as far as joining Gold Cup roster, if this is a play for the Gold Cup roster, it is unprofessional and also does not bode well for his future here.

      • Josh D says:

        We’ve had dual nationals as part of our spine since the late 80s, early 90s. This is nothing new to older fans. Shoot, the scorer of our lone goal against England in 1950 wasn’t even a dual citizen! He was straight from Haiti. The internet just blows this up because people feed off it and now people can scourer the internet to find the most random could-be US players. I’ve seen people quote 12/15 year olds who could play for us abroad.

        Until we can develop our own players consistently to the level of quality we need to compete at the top level, people will always look to other countries for talent and imagine.

    • Todd T says:

      Oh Biff…there you go again. By that logic then he must not want to play for Germany because he turned down their Under-21 European Championship squad(which by the way is more coveted than a U-20 call up).

      JAB is better than anyone we have in the pipeline right now and not because he is German but because he is just a better player who is also playing at a higher level.

      As for the animus toward Chandler…name a player who is better than him in versatility, speed, technique, quickness of play and….is widely considered to be one of the best wing backs in a top league.

      I do agree that we will go on living as a soccer program without him…but let’s not do so because he is German.

      • 2tone says:

        He wasn’t selected for the U-21′s; he didn’t turn Germany down. he is age eligible for the 2015 Germany U-21′s. It’s more of a case of him not totally tying himself to either country just yet.

        • Todd T says:

          Thanks I thought I just read that he turned down the U 21 call(I will go to the usual websites to see if I can find the quote…but I could have read it wrong). Thanks for the clarification.

          • ATX_Colin says:

            I think you have Timmy a little overated, he is not even playing consistanlty for his club side and has been avarage for the USMNT lately. I think people get a little aw-struck with foriegn born players.

        • louis z says:

          I don’t buy it. if Germany didn’t want him now, no problem, he will wait for them. we will be sloppy seconds.

      • keithbabs79 says:

        Fabian Johnson > Chandler

      • biff says:

        @Todd T: Steven Cherundolo, Geoff Cameron, Eric Lichaj.

        Have you watched Chandler play this season for his club? He has has a lot of bad games, flop of the match type games, that forced the coach to sit him on the bench before his supposed injury three weeks ago. You statement is typical of people touting Chandler as the best RB in the US player pool because, well, I don’t know why. He has played two games for the USMTN in 20 months. One game, Russia, he was weak, The other, Honduras, he was the worst player on the field. You say: “name a player who is better than him in versatility, speed, technique, quickness of play and….is widely considered to be one of the best wing backs in a top league.” One of the top wing backs in the Bundesliga? What are you basing all this on?

        • ATX_Colin says:

          word!

          • Todd T says:

            Love the 80′s/90′s reference. Is that you Vanilla Ice? Don’t get mad I am just having some fun and miss those college years.

        • Todd T says:

          Actually when healthy Dolo is the best right back in our pool. I expect him to start for US at the World Cup unless some thing happens to him before. Chandler is a better athlete with very good technical skills. Cameron is a better defender but isn’t as good going forward(yes I saw the assist this weekend). Both are currently better options then Lichaj, who might be the purest wing back of the three heir apparents to Dolo but he struggles to find consistent playing time but has a huge upside as well. The best thing about the 3 is that they are young!!!

          I have watched Chandler play(on TV), Dolo play(in person when I was in Germany…best player on the field for Hanover according to my German father -in-law) and Cameron play(on TV) each has their strong moments and I have seen all exposed for their weakness. I have seen Dolo burned by speed and size. Of the 4 Chandler is the fastest with the ball only Dolo is better technically and Cameron is the most versatile. But after Dolo, right now, Chandler is the best option. This might change as Cameron plays another season in the EPL and if Cameron plays more defense. I really like Lichaj but he needs more first team minutes(honestly I thought he was going to be the next big wing back but his development slowed by injury…Cameron and Chandler have passed passed him.

          I want to be clear I like all of the guys you talked about. I agree that he hasn’t been great in his last two outings for the
          USMNT but honestly who played well in Honduras. The whole team was crap.

          As for on of the best wing backs in the Bundesliga…well I could be guilty of drinking the kool-aid. That might have been a Klinsi sound bite. So I will retract my last sentence if admit that the German developmental system is better than the US and not just by a little bit.

    • Kosh says:

      Or could it be LIKE Chandler he’s taking the mature and thoroughly thought through path of a$$e$$ing his options and fully understanding his choice? Just because the kid didn’t ask “how high?” when asked to jump does not make him a bad person (not that I am saying you called him that – but you’ve already determined where his heart is. How do you know where his heart is?).

      The kid’s 19 and he just came off of his first pro season. His future is bright and it’s his choice to make when he’s good and ready. I sure hope he picks us but with or without him our program will be just fine. We have some young guys who are coming through the pipeline who have huge upside as well.

      I respect these youngsters (JAB and Chandler) for taking their time to make very serious decisions.

    • Socom 2 says:

      Ill be on the dual national cap tying bandwagon because this current generation of senior team guys are boring and average. Dual national guys are a fix for right now

      WC 2018 will be the kind of style we want to see and homegrown players will be a huge part of that. Dual national players will be a added luxury after that point.

      • wandmdave says:

        I’d agree with you except 2018 seems optimistic to me considering our youth development just got reorganized a few years ago.

      • GW says:

        “Dual national players will be a added luxury after that point.”

        You think so? Germany is and has been one of the leading powers in world football and have produced tons of good to great players, yet look at their rosters the last few years or so. And they are hardly alone.

        Americans, military or not, live all over the world and their kids are even as we speak, learning and playing the game. The globalization genie is out of the bottle and has been for a very long time.

      • Todd T says:

        I am with you there

    • Qwerty says:

      Aren’t you the guy who keeps whining about Donovan, a guy who declined to join many recent national team camps and qualifiers because he wanted to go on walkabout, not being included on the most recent roster? Wouldn’t the team be better off without him too since he obviously has lost the desire to wear the shirt “with every cell in his body?”

      • Josh D says:

        BOOM! +100

      • ronniet says:

        Yeah the same cells that he used for 15 plus years non stop for club and country….please, stop it smh!!!!

        • qwerty says:

          Lets call in Cobi Jones then. He played for the US for years too so he must be worth a call up.

          • qwerty says:

            smh

          • Brett says:

            This is a logical fallacy unless you actually believe Cobi Jones and Landon Donovan are now, or ever were, comparable players.

            There’s no point in comparing unlike situations. Donovan is established. He’s played in three world cups for his country and shown very well in two of them. He is unquestionably the best player his country has ever produced. He has more experience and still has more talent than 90% of the player pool. More importantly, he still plays professionally.

            He’s not a guy looking to break into a national team with the hopes of having a future in international football. His situation doesn’t compare to Brooks’ in the slightest.

        • Kevin_H says:

          The same neurons, yes, but all the other cells in his body are completely new, refreshed, and ready to go.

    • Brett says:

      It’s not “being born overseas” that makes him a tantalizing prospect. It’s his natural ability and the fact that he’s developed in a foreign system that only rewards hard work and results (compared to the American system which until recently has been keen to reward players who have paid to be developed by the USSF above others) that has the coaches eager to get him involved.

      All told, one of eleven players isn’t going to be the difference between a World Cup and irrelevance, so we can agree there, but each quality body you bring in only makes all the rest that much better. If there’s a quality player out there, we’d be foolish not to court him.

  10. Mike says:

    Just revoke his citizenship. Problem solved. ;)

  11. Chris says:

    That sux!!! hope he chooses USA later on….

  12. TomG says:

    I think it was a bad idea for Tab to make that public comment a couple weeks ago intimating that he felt USA had a good chance for JAB. I don’t want to overstate its significance, but nothing good can happen from making that statement. Maybe it had no impact at all, but he should have said nothing.

    • wandmdave says:

      I’d agree if for no other reason than it gets peoples’ hopes up and causes a strong negative reaction when things don’t pan out (more so than if the first news was bad).

  13. 2tone says:

    Hey, he is being smart about this. He is eligible for both countries. Why tie yourself to one of them at 19?

  14. slowleftarm says:

    This kind of nonsense devalues international soccer. Can we stop trying to short-circuit the production of top level players by skimming ambivalent/uncommitted players from other countries who aren’t good enough to play for their actual home nations? I know we aren’t the only country that does this but it’s out of control under Klinsmann.

    • Joe+G says:

      Most of the dual national pipeline was built up under Bradley (even Brooks was playing in U20 friendlies back in 2010). Only Johannsson is a really new discovery.

    • Old School says:

      This isn’t some random Brazilian that we’ve naturalized because he hasn’t been capped. Let’s keep things in perspective: his parent served our country, by virtue, he’s every bit American as you or I.

      Competition, talent and youth isn’t something the US can afford to turn away because they weren’t born in Wichita, Kansas or because their on the fence about their entire professional future internationally.

      If you were capable of making this type of decision without hesitation at 19 years old, you’re a better man than me. You’re also the exception, not the rule.

      Quit projecting.

      • THomas says:

        I agree with Old School on this one. JAB has a parent who served our country, which is a greater service than anything I’ve ever done. I reported a pot-hole once and pay my taxes.

        And it isn’t a coincidence that most of the German-Americans playing for the USMNT all look similar and come from a similar background. In a CNN piece they said themselves that they don’t feel German even though they grew up playing and living in Germany.

        • slowleftarm says:

          I just feel this is against the spirit of international soccer. JAB grew up in Germany and he should play for them. If he’s not good enough, he shouldn’t have us waiting as a fallback. It works against us sometimes with guys like Rossi or Subotic. Really, the problem is with the FIFA rules.

          • Brett says:

            Who are you to decide what the spirit of international soccer is? Someone can grow up in a place and never identify with that place. There is more to what makes a person’s identity than geography.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      It isn’t a zero-sum situation. We are (reportedly) revamping our youth and development system while also going after youngsters who have benefited from the kind of program we didn’t have ten years ago. Oh, and even if we did have a German-ish development system, why not go after top-level talent, source be damned?

      • wandmdave says:

        “Oh, and even if we did have a German-ish development system, why not go after top-level talent, source be damned?”

        Exactly. Isn’t that what makes America what it is in general. We’re a nation of immigrants. We don’t care where you were born as long as you decide you want to pull for us.

        • slowleftarm says:

          Totally different. I’d have no problem with him playing for the national team if he had immigrated here but as far as I know, he’s never lived in the US. Someone correct me if I’m wrong though.

          • Mike says:

            I’m pretty sure he lived on an American Army base no? It’s not like he grew up on a small farm in the German hills somewhere.

          • wandmdave says:

            Yeah I’m pretty sure US military bases are considered US territory and therefore he wouldn’t even be an immigrant he’d be an American by birth if the was born on the base.

  15. whoop-whoop says:

    I like to watch it but…. is Olympic Soccer really THAT important? Not too many nations give it much priority. It’s value above anything is another option for experience, player development, exposure to bigger, better leagues. JAB is already getting all of the above right where he sits. He isn’t playing for Germany either so…. perhaps his decision has more to do with the above than anything else. I don’t see his being left off this roster as being conclusive in any way. If he stays on the same trajectory, there is little doubt bigger clubs will come calling as will the opportunity to play International soccer for the U.S….. or Germany if he so chooses. If he has advisors, do you suppose they aren’t telling him this? Do you suppose his club has given input on their wishes? I’ve seen enough in interviews to not doubt his sincerity regarding a heartfelt connection to the US. Kid comes across as very unrehearsed and genuine…. I mean… he has Old Glory tattooed on his arm for crying out loud. I think it’s fair to assume he is making the best choices he can to develop himself as a player and think with his talent and physical gifts…. far better he concentrate on that rather than trying to placate those with no knowledge of all of the facts asking for baseless litmus tests of patriotism. Lets be honest, it is arguable that for his individual case, playing in the Olympics may have more risk than reward.

    • 2tone says:

      Uhm, this isn’t the Olympics. This is the U-20 WC, and Terrence Boyd has Old Glory tattoed on his arm.

      • whoop-whoop says:

        Haha. Thanks 2tone. Hmmm, not enough coffee this AM, nor the sense to reread posting… not certain how I got so disoriented…. just glad I wasn’t operating heavy machinery or doing brain surgery. What can I say other than…. I am a stupid, stupid man.

        P.S.: damn shame there is no edit function.

  16. SD says:

    He’s not playing this summer for Germany either…so i’m not worried yet….hopefully he’ll stick with us….I believe he wasn’t on Germany’s radar until he started playing for us, so I hope that will give us the edge….

    • Joe+G says:

      He’ll probably be a lot like Fabian Johnson. Get his shot on the Germany U21s in 2015 and then languish in the extra-deep German pool. He’ll decide for the 2018 cycle that he can’t afford to wait for them and then file his one time switch for the US.

  17. jon says:

    makes sense that he’s hesitant about playing with us. He’s german. He’s lived his whole life in germany, and naturally one would think wants to play for the german national team. if germany keeps not calling him, maybe at some point he’ll decide the US is his best shot at a world cup. it does not dissapoint me in the least to miss out on guys like this, however good they are.

  18. TGA says:

    JAB holding out for a German call. Why? Well wait until the German “B” team shreds the USA “A” team next month. In other words, ‘you have a shot at playing in a FIFA backwater that is the USA, (we can’t catch Mali in the FIFA Rankings) our have a long shot at playing for a real National Team.
    and by the way, where the hell is Mali.

    • Old School says:

      England, who is regularly ranked in the Top 5 in FIFA rankings, finished beneath us in Group Play at the last World Cup.

      I’m not faulting the premise that Germany’s second wave could run circles around the US (although, I’m not ready to concede it either) but to reference FIFA rankings as anything relevant is more absurd than the rankings itself.

  19. dude says:

    I’d like to find an excuse for this that doesn’t involve him leaning toward Germany, but they all seem pretty weak. He’s very young, he’s got enough left in the tank to play this summer; wanting rest is out. The U-20 World Cup wouldn’t cap tie him; pressure to decide isn’t really there. You could say that playing the U-20 World Cup doesn’t matter much to him, but playing for the country he prefers should matter.

    I think he knows that Germany is interested, if they weren’t his choice would be pretty simple. He knows that he has a bright future, and that future would be brightest playing with the astonishing young talent Germany is producing.

    In conclusion, we all hoped that Brooks would choose the US because he feels more comfortable and has strong feelings in that direction. There’s also the chance for him to rise quickly, and be a mainstay for us for many years. If he’s turning this down, his feelings can’t be that strong.

    We can still hope, but this is bad news.

    • GW says:

      Since we are talking Germans (Otto Von Bismarck) and Americans ( hot dogs), there is an old saying attributed to Chancellor Bismarck:

      ‘to retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not watch them in the making.’

      This applies to the recruitment of international players with multiple nationalities.

      If JAB ultimately plays for the US godd for him. If not, good for him. I don’t see anyone here who knows enough about the kid to judge him or his actions.

      And if you are repulsed by what you see going on with JAB and other dual nationals then don’t ever take an in-depth look at the recruitment of athletes to various college athletic programs right here in the good old US of A.

      It’s not exactly the same thing but you are still dealing with teenagers making potentially life altering decisions about their futures.

      • dude says:

        It’s difficult to respond to this statement, because it sounds like you read my comment as judgment about his character. I’m going to assume that’s not the case.

        I’m not repulsed by John Anthony Brooks in the slightest. I have a lower opinion of Chandler, because he has made clear promises and only recently became committed to the program- when his stock is noticeably lower in Germany.

        Nor am I repulsed by the system that allows dual internationals to make up their minds. Ultimately, there seems to be a lot of good in it for players who want to play internationally for someone. If Germany is interested, that just means they know what they’re doing. If you can rack up all the promising young centerbacks at an early age, you’re in good shape. There’s nothing sleazy about JAB’s case, just a very complex decision.

        Clearly JAB is a teenager, I’m just spelling out what this probably means for his chances of playing for us, which is what I care about. Because I’m a selfish fan. I’d rather he be a starter for the US than a WC winner for Germany. That’s why it’s his call.

  20. MIKE R says:

    He will not play for the US. He knows that while it might be harder to make the German squad, if he does he can win a WC.

    He knows that the US are a marginal team. he also knows the routine….US will have a nice Mile Cup get everyones hopes up, and crash out of the U-20 WC and never hear from most of those players again,

    Also, He will not be in the Gold Cup because Klinsman believes prospects should go up the US tree before going with full nats.

    • Riggity says:

      Rofl, Klinsmann may have said he believes that but he has shown he won’t hesitate to contradict a previous statement.

  21. Brett says:

    He’ll play for us or he won’t play international football. He’ll be in the fold eventually.

  22. louis z says:

    it’s clear his best option route is to wait for Germany, if he doesn’t make it then he has us as a fallback because he would probably make the cut for us. If he goes with us first and then Germany calls, he would make his one time switch and if he doesn’t make it, then he is left out in the cold with no national team.