HOFFENHEIM'S JOHNSON OPEN TO USA
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RECAPS
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BRIAN SCIARETTA - Saturday, August 20, 2011
After putting in a huge effort in a game against Augsburg, Hoffenheim midfielder and left back Fabian Johnson admitted that he is open to playing for the US national team.

Johnson, 23, arrived at Hoffenheim after spending the previous two seasons at VfL Wolfsburg.

The defender was born in Munich, but is the son of an American serviceman and holds a US passport.

In the past, Johnson has played with the German Under-19, U-20, and U-21 youth national teams but has never played for the senior team.

For the first time on record, Johnson has now indicated that playing for the United States at the international level is a possibility.

"Naturally it's possible, by all means yes," Johnson told YA after the game. " Yes, of course - [if they called] then I would in any case think it over."

If he were to play for the US national team in an official game, he would need to file his one-time change of association switch with FIFA. He would not need to file the switch to play for the US national team in any friendly, however.

As of now, Johnson has yet to be contacted by USSF.

"I can honestly say that I have not received any phone call [from the USSF]," Johnson added. "So I haven't really thought it over seriously."

The US national team has benefited in the past from players who have switched associations to play for the United States. In recent years Edgar Castillo, Jermaine Jones, and Teal Bunbury have switched to representing the US after playing for other countries in official youth competitions.

Johnson's strong performance on Saturday came while playing in the attacking midfield. In the first half he assisted on Ryan Babel's goal and in the second half he drew a penalty that was converted by Sejad Salihovic.
Aaron
Thursday August 25, 2011 12:37 am
It doesn't hurt that Gyau is on the same Hoffenheim team.
Steve
Tuesday August 23, 2011 10:32 pm
Haha, the captain of Hoffenheim, Andreas Beck, who plays for the German national team was born in the Soviet Union. Almost every national team takes players from other countries. Play to win.
matt
Tuesday August 23, 2011 8:14 am
I think if he jumps on that opportunity he clearly doesn't feel confident enough to ever make the senior German team. And who can fault him. I watch German soccer every weekend and some of the better players would never make it due to politics. It's not just skill, you have to play for the right team. A world class player for Hoffenheim would more than likely sit on the bench at an international game so a inferior player from Bremen, Munich or Leverkusen could be in the starting rotation.
Scott W
Monday August 22, 2011 3:28 pm
Its been said time and time again, but the make-up of our national team mirrors the principles this nation was founded on 200+ years ago. I think that's freakin' awesome.

If guys like Castillo, Chandler, Jones, and Johnson want to contribute, I say let them show what they can do. Do they do it because they can't break into the German or Mexican team? Maybe. But why did millions of immigrants leave Europe (and now Mexico) and come to the US? Because they wanted fresh opportunity. Sounds like their circumstances are very similar to what is in the history books.

I think its scenarios like this makes the US team exceptionally inspirational. I bet if Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, etc. could see this, they'd be very, very proud.
Mark WNY
Monday August 22, 2011 3:26 pm
Germany has the polish players; Italy has one born in the USA and one from Argentina (Camoranesi); France Championship team had a few players born abroad - even Spain had a Brazilian player a few years ago. This is the way soccer is played around the world.

My take is to give young players a chance - not matter where they were born - as long as they can play and hold a U.S. passport. This is nothing new in world soccer and nothing new for the U.S. We need experience players with speed and technique - we don't have that in the MLS or the College Soccer.

Any word on the players selected for Costa Rica/Belgium?
Hoppy in ATL
Monday August 22, 2011 12:42 pm
...as mentioned numerous times in this thread, any person born abroad on a military base to an American father serving the U.S. is as American as any one of us.... The fact that he plays LB just makes the situation really awesome. I really hope that Klinsmann, as well as the other German-born American footballers are in Johnson's ear and really pitching it well to the young lad... Besides, for anyone that is such a purist that they have problems accepting a German-born player into the USMNT, last time I checked, "Johnson" is not exactly the most Germanic name I've ever heard... I think his relationship to his father is far more indicative of his heritage than the precise place in which he happened to pop out of his mother... I think that he has just as much of a right to represent the U.S. as he does to represent Germany....
mat
Monday August 22, 2011 11:27 am
I think having additional options at defender positions would be great. USA has weak strikers , decent midfield and decent defenders. Woudl be nice to shore up defense ...
Dee Wreck
Monday August 22, 2011 10:58 am
Actually, Timothy Chandler's English is VERY questionable (ie. it is not very good at all)... So not every German born American speaks great English (just to get that out of the way)... But the real point is, SO WHAT?, they were born in Germany. My brother was born in Germany. My father was an American serviceman and my mother was German (she's American now).... My brother and I are both as American as it gets, and any kid born to ANY American Serviceman overseas is just as American as anyone else... If these guys want to play for the country their father's served to protect, I see nothing wrong with it.

BUT perhaps the best point: he plays LEFT BACK! Think of this: no need to ever see Bornstein again (for those of you sick of that). I don't think Castillo blew my socks off either... Lichaj is still experimenting with LB. I'm asking Klinsmann to get on the phone today.
Zac
Monday August 22, 2011 10:51 am
We should put an Army base in Spain, Catalonia is preferable.
Hood Rich
Monday August 22, 2011 9:55 am
This can only benefit our national team that we are 3 - 4 deep at every position. It is better than having reliance on the only starter at each position as it makes their egos bigger than their playing ability.

Guys like Donovan need to have their egos checked and we should welcome guys like Diskerud and Bedoya to challenge for that position.
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