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John Anthony Brooks
- DOB January 28, 1993
- Age 20
- Place of birth Berlin, Germany
- POSITION Defender
- HEIGHT 6'4"
- WEIGHT 172
- U.S. CAPS 0
- CLUB Hertha Berlin
- ASN 100 Rank 53
- Previous ASN 100 Rank 70
- Youth Experience U-20
John Anthony Brooks is perhaps the most talented central defender prospect in the United States pool—a skilled youngster who is calm in possession and has plenty of upside. The tall, athletic Brooks is another German-American with dual citizenship. He has appeared for both the U.S. and German U-20 teams, and will likely have to choose between the two countries in the next few years.
Brooks plays his club soccer at Hertha Berlin alongside Alfredo Morales and Jerome Kiesewetter. He signed a four-year deal in 2011 after rejected approaches from Bayern Munich and others. After establishing himself with the reserve side in 2011, Brooks fought his way on to the full team in 2012 and debuted in August. Although he won't turn 20 until January 2013, the defender is already a starter on the 2. Bundesliga club.
Brooks has attended a few American training camps, most notably a combined U-20 and U-23 group that met in Germany in 2011. He liked what he saw. "It is one of the strongest squads that we've ever had,” Brooks told Yanks-Abroad.com. “We have to prove ourselves every day at practice. And the coach is also very good, no complaints there. My biggest goal [for the USA] is of course to be there and to play, and to contribute as much as I can. I will give 110% to reach that goal and practice hard.”
Brooks also enjoyed the increasing German flavor of the U.S. camps under Jurgen Klinsmann. "The overall style of play now is completely different. The game is faster, more one-touch, the system is a lot more developed," he said. A more technical, one-touch style suits the tall central defender. Brooks could be a fixture on the Stars and Stripes for years to come, but only if he chooses the U.S. over Germany.
This is one teenager worth watching.—NOAH DAVIS
Noteworthy ReadsBrooks Reflects on U-23 Camp (Yanks-Abroad.com)
Trio of Yanks Rising at Hertha (Yanks-Abroad.com)