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Klinsmann Steps Up Recruitment of Dual-Nationals

  • ESPN FC, Wednesday, September 3, 2014 1:13 PM

Now that a new World Cup cycle has begun, USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann says that he will continue trying to recruit dual nationals to play for the men’s national team. Klinsmann recruited no less than six German-Americans to play for the USA at the World Cup in Brazil, including John Brooks and Julian Green, who both scored in their World Cup debuts.

With the new cycle beginning Wednesday, Klinsmann already has his sights set on several young new players. Among them are German-Americans Shawn and Devante Parker, who play for Augsburg and Mainz, respectively, and highly rated Arsenal prospect Gedion Zelalem, who holds German and Ethiopian citizenship, but could become an American citizen through his father, Zelalem Woldyes, who would need to gain citizenship prior to Gedion’s 18th birthday.

"We are on all these kids, but in a very relaxed way," Klinsmann told reporters ahead of Wednesday's friendly against the Czech Republic. "First and foremost, they need to do it for the right reasons. If Shawn Parker decides one day to play for the U.S., or his younger brother Devante -- which are both very, very talented -- then they have to do it on their time schedule, for the right reasons, and we not putting anybody under pressure there."

He added: "With Gedion, it's a family process that is there," said Klinsmann. "He's not in possession of an American passport. If he gets one, that's step one. Step two is then talking soccer with him and his family, and he needs to feel comfortable with him and his family. There, again, we started the process very early, and also we are in touch with him but in a very relaxed way."

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