[USA UNDER-20 MEN] Eighteen months after he attended his first U.S. national youth team camp, American-German John Anthony Brooks has grown to 6-foot-4 and become a hot property in Germany, a starter for runaway German second division champion Hertha Berlin. On Sunday, the final day of the league season, Brooks scored his first league goal for Hertha. On Monday, it was revealed a tug of war between the USA and Germany over his services ended in a draw.
U.S. U-20 national team coach Tab Ramos announced that Brooks won't be joining the USA for the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey. Nor will Brooks be playing for Germany at the UEFA Under-21 Championship in Israel. He was not included in Rainer Adrion's provisional Germany squad.
Brooks, who said he needed to rest, would have been a likely starter for the USA in Turkey. He was not likely to play for the German U-21s.
“Everybody knows we’ve been following Brooks for a couple of years now,” Ramos told reporters on Monday. “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."
Ramos said Brooks didn't meet the FIFA deadline "for us to get all the paperwork in so we’ve left him out of the 35-man roster." It was not clear what paperwork Ramos was referring to -- ie. whether Brooks, born to a German mother and American father, still needed to obtain a U.S. passport.
Participation for the USA or Germany at the age group level wouldn't prevent him from playing for the other country at the senior level as he would be entitled to petition FIFA to make a one-time switch because he was eligible for citizenship for both countries at the time he played for the first country.
Fabian Johnson made the switch after winning the UEFA U-21 crown with Germany.