BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, November 22, 2010
US U20 head coach Thomas Rongen revealed to YA a major announcement today that Bayern Munich and German youth international Fabian Hürzeler will change his affiliation and represent the US.

"We got a commitment actually today for Fabian Hürzeler, the captain of the German [U17] team and he plays for Bayern Munich," Rongen told YA in Atlanta. "He's going to be part of our January camp. That's pretty nice news."

"Like Alex Zahavi, Hürzeler is fluent in English," he continued. "These guys, they're excited about the opportunity. They're honored. But these aren't easy decisions. This guy played for the German youth teams from U15 to U19. We'll keep pushing the envelope. We'll keep finding players that hopefully can help us."

Hürzeler, 17, was born in Houston but was raised in Germany where he has developed into an elite prospect. Over the summer he was also promoted to the reserve team of Bayern Munich despite being eligible to play for the U19 team for two more years. He is the youngest player on the reserve team.

The central midfielder will now be leaving the German setup for that of the US. He will be eligible for the 2011 and 2013 U20 World Cups with the Stars and Stripes.

Since he has played for Germany in official youth national team competitions, Hürzeler will need to file his one-time switch of federations with FIFA if he wants to play for the US in U20 qualifying or the U20 World Cup. He will not need to file the switch for the January U20 camp or to play in any friendlies.

As for whether or not there would be other players in addition to Hürzeler and Zahavi that would switch national teams to play for the US, Rongen did offer a hint.

"There are three or four other guys that I've approached that play at a high level that have represented other countries in qualifying games," he concluded.
Tuesday November 23, 2010 6:52 pm
I appreciate your reporting on the youth national teams.
Tuesday November 23, 2010 6:40 pm
Times are changing in International football. Its important to locate and contact talent that is able to play for your country. This is an amazing Coup, added to Zahavi/M. Orozco/V. Garza/O. Salgado/A. Ruelas etc.....

Future is bright for us YANKS!
Tuesday November 23, 2010 5:14 pm
wow, are they not ashamed about stealing foreign players?
Tuesday November 23, 2010 1:14 pm
Great job in breaking this. Excellent work. You guys provide- by far- the best coverage of US soccer and I love reading every word. Big thanks!
Abe Froman
Tuesday November 23, 2010 12:58 pm
Nice reporting, Brian.

How good is this kid? Will Germany lament this loss, at least privately and will he be good enough to make the U20 WC in 2011 given the depth the US has among kids a year or two older than him?
Tuesday November 23, 2010 12:39 pm
Wilkommen Fabian!

(and great article)
Tuesday November 23, 2010 10:08 am
Fantastic Scoop, Brian! I've never seen him play, but the pedigree is impressive! 3 or 4 other guys that Rongen has approached?!? Let the speculation begin...Hoyos is a given. Who else?
Tuesday November 23, 2010 8:18 am
Great scoop Brian. I really enjoy all the youth national team coverage this site provides. Seems this is the only place that you can find these types of interviews on a regular basis.
Tuesday November 23, 2010 7:30 am
Just to clarify, is it the case that the one-time switch ties him to the senior team as well?

Great news. Good job USSF.
Tuesday November 23, 2010 2:30 am
awesome...just awesome, what a job Rongen has done with recruiting talent this cycle.
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