There's been a hot debate for years surrounding the United States men's national team and their use of dual-national players. We took an in-depth look at that topic yesterday. You should take the time to read that.
The U.S. are in Chicago preparing for their second group match against Costa Rica that will be a make or break moment for their Copa America lives.
One of the most prominent dual-nationals on the current USMNT squad is John Brooks. The 23-year-old was born in Berlin but has family from Illinois, a fact he's very proud of and represents on his elbows. Two dueling tattoos, one the outline of Berlin and the other of Illinois:
John Brooks tattoo: Berlin on his left elbow and Illinois on his right elbow.. #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/aX6rQDwB6s— ErVaN (@ervan25) June 17, 2014
Brooks explained the reasoning behind the tattoos to the media on Sunday.
"My family's from here," Brooks said explaining the Chicago tattoo on Sunday. "My family's here from the States, from Chicago. The [other] one is Berlin because I was born and raised there."
The German-American has been a highly-touted prospect in Germany for years and it was a celebratory moment when he declared his allegiance to the USMNT. However, his status as a star prospect took a while to convert over to a bonafide option for the national team. After a great season with Hertha Berlin, Brooks thinks he's finally found his feet with the USMNT.
"I think I finally found my spot on this team here," Brooks said. "From the beginning, the team was nice, but when you come every time from Europe it’s a little different. Now I think I’m finally here."
The SSFC community rated Brooks the best performer against Colombia on Friday and his performances in the previous warm-up friendlies suggest he's 100 percent correct. He's finally living up to the potential he's shown for years and his confidence is sky high. Brooks has become the rock at the back for the U.S. and at just 23, he has an incredible future ahead of him.