John Brooks is peaking at the right time. The 21-year-old centerback won Bundesliga Player of the Week honors last weekend for his showing in Hertha Berlin's win over Eintracht Braunschweig, which saw him score the winning goal and help keep a clean sheet.
A rough middle part of the season cast some doubt on Brooks and his place at Hertha. That was especially true when his ability to play was put into doubt by a back tattoo he unwisely decided to get during the season, but he's starting to find his form.
Not only was Brooks excellent against BTSV, but he also played well the week before against Augsburg. Whereas earlier in the season he was criticized for being too aggressive at times and lacking discipline, he's begun to sort out those problems. Hertha manager Jos Luhukay has praised him in consecutive weeks for his fine play and, at least for the time being, it looks like he has regained his starting place in the center of defense.
Considering the United States' question marks at centerback, any strong play from contenders at the position is very important. It would take a leap of faith for Klinsmann to put the inexperienced Brooks in to start a World Cup match this summer, but Klinsmann has taken risks before and especially if yellow card accumulation sidelines a player or two, Brooks may get the call.
On top of that, Brooks is the centerback of the future for the U.S. right now. He is the only centerback under the age of 25 that Klinsmann has capped in years so even if Brooks' development doesn't pay dividends this summer, it certainly will next cycle.