HOFFENHEIM'S JOHNSON OPEN TO USA
RECAPS
EXTRA TIME
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.
Bobeto
Monday August 22, 2011 9:24 am
Have anyone out there stepped onto an Army Base in Germany, I have. It feels and looks and is like any American city here in the States. I will never have any problem with a player anywhere on Earth that has an American Service parent and grew up on an American Base. He is just as American as any player growing up here. (but better coaching) What I don't agree is (like in other countries) the grandparents rule....that"s going too far!
Bob Bradley's Tears
Monday August 22, 2011 8:43 am
"R we not good enough to grow our on players"

Umm... no. I thought that was pretty obvious by now.
Noah
Monday August 22, 2011 12:35 am
How could any American question the citizenship of the offspring of our heroes in the US military who protect our freedom.
trix
Sunday August 21, 2011 6:38 pm
R we not good enough to grow our on players... hopefully this is only a temporary solution to grow the sport in this country
IntheLou
Sunday August 21, 2011 1:00 pm
First, anyone who's young and German, even if educated entirely in the German system, will speak good English. Second, anyone who took the time to actually get a US passport before talk of national teams came up must have a reasonably strong connection to the US. And that's good enough for me. We are a nation of immigrants and much of our strength comes from people who actively want to contribute to the shared vision of what America is, just like david m, who came at age 20. I would have taken you on the US football team, too, if you were any good! I'm certainly happy to have you on the Yanks Abroad board sharing your opinion as an American....
gcs
Sunday August 21, 2011 10:00 am
Hey David,

Thanks for continuing the conversation. Not sure that I see how your having moved to the US at 20 precludes xenophobia. I do understand a desire for USMNT players to have a connection to the US, though I'm not sure that growing up in the US and playing soccer in the US are the only ways to be part of the fabric of our country. Families who have lived on military bases around the world are certainly no less american, rather, a different sort of American.

I agree that USMNT players represent our country and need to identify with the US. So the real question is does Fabian Johnson identify himself as a German who happens to have an American passport or as a German American raised in Germany by an American father ?
david m
Sunday August 21, 2011 8:40 am
My point is not the passport and not where Ramos or Agoos were born, but where they grew up and learned to play the game. I don't like the idea of having players on the national team who play for the US only because they are not good enough to play for another country (Germany in this case) and who can't speak English and may've never set foot on american soil prior to their first game for the national team.

And before I'm accused of xenophobia -- I was born and grew up in another country (in Europe) and came to the US at the age of 20.
FellowWorker1905
Saturday August 20, 2011 9:29 pm
david m -I would much rather we have players playing for the national side that can actually play the game, and I for one could give a rat's behind as to where they happened to be born.
By the by, you do know that Tab Ramos was born in Uruguay, Stewart Holden in Scotland, Pablo Mastroaini in Argentina, Jeff Agoos in Switzerland, Joe Gaetjens in Haiti, etc., etc., don't you?

And your net point then is............?
Coach Kev
Saturday August 20, 2011 8:42 pm
David m. he is just as much of an American as John McCain (who ran for PRESIDENT!) who was born in Panama. an American is an American and with Klinsmann as our coach, every kid born in Germany, with a US soldier as a father is going to start to come out of the wood work. African countries have been doing this for years.
david m
Saturday August 20, 2011 8:28 pm
I'd much rather see Americans playing for the US national team.
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