Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Neven Subotic not eligible for Germany
by Mike Woitalla, October 24th, 2008 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[U.S. SOCCER] The German soccer federation [DFB], which had previously been optimistic that 19-year-old defender Neven Subotic would be eligible for its national team despite having played for the USA at the 2005 U-17 World Cup, has admitted that Subotic doesn't meet the FIFA requirements for a national-team switch to Germany. The news increases the chances that Subotic will play for the U.S. national team, although he still has other options.

Subotic's play in Borussia Dortmund's central defense had yielded high praise from Germany coach Joachim Loew, who said he wanted to call Subotic into a national team camp and that the DFB was working to acquire German citizenship for him.

FIFA regulations allow players to switch national teams before the age of 21, but the player must have had the citizenship of the nation he's switching to at the time he played for the other country. That not being the case with Subotic, he would not be eligible to play for Germany even when he acquires his German citizenship.

Subotic was born in the former Yugoslavia in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1988 to a Serbian family that immigrated to Germany when he was 18 months old in 1990. The Subotic family moved to the USA in 1999.

Neven Subotic acquired U.S. citizenship, and after being discovered playing in a park in Bradenton, Fla., by U.S. U-17 assistant coach Keith Fulk, he was invited to a tryout and earned a spot in the U.S. U-17 Residency Program.

Subotic can, before his 21st birthday (Dec. 10, 2009), decide to play for Serbia or Bosnia.

The Subotic family had fled Bosnia for Germany before the outbreak of the Bosnian War of 1992-1995. When Neven was 11, his family's German residence authorization expired and the family moved to Utah, before relocating in Bradenton so his sister, Natalija, could attend the Bollettieri Tennis Academy at the IMG Academy.

Seven years after arriving in the USA, Neven Subotic returned to Germany, where he had a successful tryout with Mainz 05. During the 2006-07 season, Subotic played for Mainz's youth and Fourth Division teams. But in the last game of the season, with Mainz already doomed to Second Division relegation, he started and played the full 90 minutes in a 5-2 loss to Bayern Munich, becoming, at age 18, the youngster American to play in the Bundesliga 1.

The following season, Subotic played 33 games and scored four goals for Mainz in the Second Division. Kicker Magazine named him the Second Division's top central defender of the 2007-08 season, after which he moved to top-tier Borussia Dortmund on a $5.5 million transfer.

Subotic won a starting role upon his arrival in Dortmund and scored three goals in his first four games.

Subotic played 89 minutes in four games at the 2005 U-17 World Cup, where the Americans reached the quarterfinals. He was left out of Coach Thomas Rongen's squad for the 2007 U-20 World Cup.

Subotic told Soccer America via e-mail late last month that criticism in the press on his play by Rongen that had upset him would not impact his decision on which national team to play for.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
A back-heel sombrero from Greek boy     
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] Greek youth soccer, in a game between AO Ioannina and Agia Eleousa, delivers ...
What They're Saying: Jose Mourinho    
"Obviously they must be very sad with the result but when we lose against a team ...
Report: W-League champion Pali Blues are folding    
The LA Blues won W-League titles as the Pali Blues in 2009, 2009 and 2013 and ...
The Messi files: Eight amazing scoring records    
Lionel Messi holds all the single-season scoring records. Now, he is cleaning up on the all-time ...
Mulroy departs NASL runner-up Ft. Lauderdale Strikers    
Tommy Mulroy, the longtime soccer promoter, is out as the president of the NASL Ft. Lauderdale ...
Business Reporter: adidas to open store in Orlando stadium    
MLS sponsor adidas will operate the league's first in-stadium store starting in 2016 with the opening ...
Three takeaways from Manchester City-Bayern Munich     
The Champions League actually includes runners-up and third- and fourth-place finishers, but this Group E game ...
Marshall becomes first three-time top MLS defender    
In his first season with the Seattle Sounders, Chad Marshall has been named the MLS Defender ...
Copa America: Brazil and Colombia will meet again    
Brazil and Colombia, which faced each other in a hotly contested quarterfinal match at the 2014 ...
Referees grab the spotlight in MLS playoffs    
If the goal of a referee is to go unnoticed, the two referees in Sunday's MLS ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives