John Brooks has finally found a team. The 29-year-old defender signed today with Benfica, bringing to an end the transfer saga that had followed him all summer as he searched for a new team. Terms of the deal were not immediately known.
Brooks was a free agent after leaving Wolfsburg at the end of last season. Wolfsburg had given Brooks the freedom to find another club after announcing they would not retain him at season’s end. Brooks had been linked to clubs in Major League Soccer as well as RCD Mallorca, with some reports indicating that Brooks was set to sign with Mallorca before Benfica swooped in to land the American.
John Brooks, long considered one of the USMNT’s best centerbacks and one of the most indispensable players on the team, has been on the outside looking in after not being included on the November 2021 World Cup qualifying roster by USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter. That led to a “will he or won’t he” scenario for several months, where Brooks was never called back into the USMNT as they secured qualification for the 2022 World Cup.
Now that Brooks has found a team, it’s a race against time for him to get into shape and show that he can be a force in the middle for one of the most successful clubs in Portugal. He could get time in the Primeira Liga, the Taça de Portugal, as well as UEFA Champions League. Benfica sits in a group with Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, and Maccabi Haifa. That means that Brooks could have potential matchups with fellow Americans Weston McKennie (Juventus) and Josh Cohen (Maccabi Haifa).
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