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BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, March 16, 2012
Jurgen Klinsmann may soon have another central defender in his player pool as Middlesbrough central defender Seb Hines indicates he would be willing to play for the United States

Hines, 23, returned from an ankle injury during the second half of the season and has earned very positive reviews for his recent play. The club now sits in fourth place in the English Championship and is in the hunt for promotion to the Premier League.

Hines' professional debut came in the Premier League with Middlesbroughin 2007 and he has been with the club since he was only 14. He now is looking to bring the club back to the top division.

"It's everyone's dream when they're a kid to play at the top level," Hines told YA. "The Premier League is the highest level and I'd love to play there against the best players in the world. Hopefully we can get there this season."

"Last year was disappointing but this year we've done really well," he added. "We've got a young side and we're all eager to win and bring success to Middleborough again."

As a young player, Hines was a standout with English youth national teams at both the U-16, U-17, and U-19 levels. He played in European qualifiers at those age groups but injuries prevented him from playing in the finals.

Hines has suffered multiple injuries in his past but with him now fully fit, he is eager to return not just to the Premier League but to the international game as well. Only this time it could be with the United States.

Hines has had an American passport since birth by virtue of his father. His father is from North Carolina but served in the United States military. While stationed in Germany he met Seb's mother, who is from England, on a trip to Spain.

Hines was born in England but lived in the United States for two years when he was a young child. He later returned to England.

Hines is still very much in contact with his American family in North Carolina and he cites his father as a huge influence on his career.

"We go back to North Carolina during the offseason every year to see family," Hines said. "We are planning to go back this summer because all of my father's family lives there. My father is the only one currently in England."

Hines has never heard from US Soccer but he is very much open to playing for the US national team in the future if he is invited by Jurgen Klinsmann. Such a move would require him to file his one-time switch with FIFA and Hines says that he is willing to do that.

"Obviously it would be amazing to be a part of the setup for the United States," Hines stated emphatically. "I watched them against Italy and they were terrific. We have a lot of American players that are here in England as well like Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey."

Hines' agent Matthew Southall also stressed that his client is eager to play if asked.

"We have not had contact with US Soccer yet," Southall said. "But Seb is very willing to play for the United States if asked."

Hines and Middlesbrough visit Birmingham City this weekend.
Saturday March 17, 2012 5:24 am
Witbred hasn't played for the national team yet because he can't stay healthy. I am stationed in England and go to Norwich games a lot and dude can play he just has bad luck with getting called up and getting hurt a week or so before camp.
ed c.
Saturday March 17, 2012 4:48 am
i don't know what some of you guys have in your heads with these"foreign" players when they have american passports, american parent/s. diskerud was born and bred in norway and still lives there (when not playing in belgium). his mother is american born, so he is also american. you should try using "dual citizenship" instead of foreign national i've lived most of my life in europe so i wonder if i am considered a foreign national now by some?!?!
Friday March 16, 2012 11:23 pm
Zak Whitbred is a legit American and he starts and plays in the Prem, how come his name never gets mentioned???
Friday March 16, 2012 7:31 pm
I understand why he wants to play for the USA but why would they want a 2nd division CB we doesn't believe he would ever be good enough to play for England? Must be a slow news day.
D. Russell
Friday March 16, 2012 6:57 pm
If his father is a citizen of the US and holds a US passport, he by birth is a US citizen not a "foreign national" full stop. If the young man can play he is no different than any other "born and bred" kid from the US who was scouted and signed by a foreign club.
Friday March 16, 2012 6:24 pm

Project 2010 came to be before Brandenton. Not sure that was reactionary and most of the US players now have come from that. And the Claudio Reyna era came to be after WC 2010. Not sure where you see 'no change'. Yes we take foreign nationals. A lot of countries do.
Dave S
Friday March 16, 2012 4:12 pm
"Hines has had an American passport since birth by virtue of his father. His father is from North Carolina but served in the United States military. While stationed in Germany he met Seb's mother, who is from England, on a trip to Spain."

Wait...what? This should be following by: "He then went to live with his Jamaican nanny in a Swiss monastery where he ate a lot of French toast." Citizenship is silly.
Friday March 16, 2012 3:38 pm
Can't development, so just keep recruiting....

I don't actually have a problem with bringing so many foreign nationals, but one major problem with US Soccer is that the quality of player development is falsely tied to the performance of the NT. If a significant amount of NT players are foreign nationals, then that only hurts the focus/effort put into player development.
Proof of this tie: US Soccer's reaction after poor WC performances versus good results.
1998 - Brandenton created
2002 - no change
2006 - Development Academy created
2010 - no change
Friday March 16, 2012 11:12 am
Can anyone advise what kind of player this guy is? With the current need of the National team being to find qualified central defenders to replace Bocanegra, Oneywu, and Goodson where/how does this guy rate against those everyone is calling for...
Whitbread, Ream, Cameron, John, Gozales, Opara, and Boss
Should this kid be called in for an evaluation?
Friday March 16, 2012 10:43 am
Very interesting. He is very talented and was a highly touted defender in England in his youth. If he is sincere and can stay injury free then I say lets see what he's got call him up in May. Even if he hasn't filed a one time switch yet or is in the process bring him let him get acquainted to the USMNT. If he does switch then he definitely is above Cameron in the pecking order. I see nothing wrong with this since he has such strong ties to the U.S.
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