Donovan on the German influence in the UMSNT

Landon Donovan Practice (

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To say there's a German influence on the current U.S. national team is a bit of an understatement these days.

Along with Bundesliga veterans Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan, the national team has also welcomed German-born players Jermaine Jones, Timmy Chandler and David Yelldell into the fray in recent months. The result has been a current U.S. camp where German can be heard being spoken on the field on a regular basis.

"It's like being on the German national team," Donovan joked before Monday's training session in Nashville. Having honed his mastery of the German language during stints with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich, Donovan said it was good to get practice speaking the language with his new teammates.

Apparently he was getting too much practice speaking German, which led Jermaine Jones to complain recently.

"Why don't you speak English anymore," Jones told Donovan at a recent practice. "I'm trying to learn."

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127 Responses to Donovan on the German influence in the UMSNT

  1. The Dude says:

    That’s hilarious.

  2. afrim says:

    lets not forget Dolo (although he’s not in camp) the dude has spend more than a decade there, i bet he speaks it like a native

  3. Brad says:

    Where are some of our other military bases? I can think of a few countries where I think we should consider putting up bases and/or invading and occupying.

  4. Taylor says:

    that last line is classic

  5. RedLine55 says:

    Good point, indeed. Spector has a german passport/citizenship and speaks a bit, as well. We’re basically Germany2.0

  6. MitThompson says:

    Italy, Japan, S. Korea. Fairly certain we fly out of a RAF base in England and I think I heard something about a base in Turkey. We also have Guantanamo in Cuba but I don’t think the soldiers get off base there.

  7. abc says:

    And we also have Ricardo Clark at Frankfurt and Edson Buddle at Ingolstadt. And of course Steve “The Mayor of Hannover” Cherundolo has been at Hannover so long (11 years?) that he’s almost as German as he is American.

    And this isn’t going to change anytime soon, with Joseph Gyau and Charles Renken at Hoffenheim and Fabian Hurzeler at Bayern Munich. And a few others will probably emerge out of nowhere like Chandler did.

  8. GL says:

    I heard of some terrorist threats in Brazil, perhaps it’s time to invade?

  9. offcolorcommentary says:

    Keep up the good work American Servicemen!

  10. Carl says:

    I hope Daniel Williams at SC Freiburg is the next German-American to join up.

    Also, the USMNT’s World Cup Qualifying stronghold has traditionally been Columbus, Ohio. The city has a German Village and a deep German heritage.

  11. bob says:

    Spread the seed!

  12. vik says:

    Got to give props to our servicemen abroad. Way to expand the talent pool.

  13. RedLine55 says:

    ha guys we don’t need to invade! just have some of our military find some lovely locals and make sweet passionate love, thus having little footballing babies. It’s all about the love.

  14. John says:

    basically anywhere in the midwest has a strong german-american population. in minnesota, wisconsin, and the dakotas like 40% of the people in each state claim german heritage.

  15. Turgid Jacobian says:

    Now the question is if Plan Colombia will yield.

  16. K-Town says:

    My father is half African-American, my mother is German. Imagine how happy I am to see Jones, Chandler, and Yelldell? Lovin’ it! LOL!

    I graduated High School at Ramstein American High School on Ramstein AB in 98′. 1. FC Kaiserslautern (K-Town, as it is known to local americans) is the club I support. I hope we can stay in the Bundesliga. Summer of 98′ was freaking awesome! K-Town just won the Bundesliga and then I graduated high school.

    “Between 1950 and 1955, Kaiserslautern developed into the largest US military community outside of the United States. For this reason Kaiserslautern is also referred to as “K-town”; a term coined by the early American military population who had difficulty pronouncing the name. The Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC) is a combined community consisting of Army and Air Force components. The KMC consists of Army facilities at Kleber, Panzer, and Daener Kaserne, Landstuhl, Miesau, Einsiedlerhof, Pirmasens, Sembach, Rhine Ordnance and Pulaski Barracks along with Air Force facilities located at Ramstein Air Base, Vogelweh, and Kapaun Air Station.”-Wiki- These are all JUST bases near Kaiserslautern! Munich, Frankfurt, and many other German cities also had military bases.

    I believe there were close to 250K Americans there during the cold war. And apparently quite a few african american men like my dad had children with german women.

  17. ELAC says:

    Freakin’ Germans! Go back to……wait a minute. Nevermind.

    (SBI-You know John, most people won’t appreciate how funny your comment is if they don’t know you or about you. Haha.)

  18. Paul C says:

    Too bad Becks is having a girl, we could’ve swooped.

    Now if we can get Angel and Henry to pop a couple out while they’re here we’ll be in business.

  19. Jack says:

    As an American history major concentrating in 1945 to the present, you just made me cringe.

    As an American soccer fan, I agree.

  20. Brad says:

    We should send in the marines just to make sure things are ok. Maybe we should check up on Argentina just to cover all the bases.

  21. Bill says:

    How about we fire Bob and hire a German coach!

  22. Jack says:

    Wasn’t the rumor that CRon’s son was born to an American mother in LA? US Soccer should start working on The Tanned One now.

  23. RB says:

    So, the USWNT can swoop.

  24. Jack says:

    This might sound mushy, but I have to say that I always like reading about how the USMNT gets along with each other. Between teammates making an effort to communicate with new players who don’t have a good grasp of English, vets sitting with the new players at meals, and all of that stuff that is always mentioned in articles about the NT, it’s kind of nice to see a group that isn’t dominated by egos like certain NTs seem to be (-cough- England -cough-). Sometimes, I think that that camaraderie and positive mentality goes into the US’s never-die attitude in games and their ability to pull off some crazy outcomes.

    Okay, appreciative moment over.

  25. Turgid Jacobian says:

    Can’t disagree with you: I’m very hopeful that it is true.

  26. Yusef says:

    What’s Dooley up to these days?

  27. Micah King says:

    Good article Ives we do have a big German influence and I cannot wait to see our future talent.

  28. but jurgen is now a completely american blonde surfer dude sunbathing in the new port beach

  29. andrew says:

    I think Germany is Germany 2.0
    Maybe we’re Germany 0.7

  30. Thorpinski says:

    It’s our version of the Boys from Brazil.

  31. Paul C says:

    Our ladies are already getting their DNA from someone special apparently.

  32. Thorpinski says:

    Plus we have Booby Wood, Renken, Jefferies and Gyau learning their trade in Germany.

  33. K-Town says:

    Not sure which part made you cringe? Nothing I said was inaccurate to my knowledge. And the part snipped from Wiki, although from wiki, seams accurate to me. I have personally been to every one of those bases. They are all within a half hour drive of K-Town, some in K-Town.

  34. Goalscorer24 says:

    If we can play as well as the German national team, there are no complaints from me!

  35. K-Town says:

    BTW, as of 2008 there were 47K US citizens (US Army, USAF, and dependents in the KMC area. Sounds like we can still produce some future national team members!

  36. jcl says:

    Bradley Jr and Feilhaber too!

  37. SwerveZ says:

    +1 hahahahahahahahahaha!

  38. SwerveZ says:

    wow! I gotta visit! It’s in my bloodline…maybe I can sway a nice German woman into procreating!

  39. SwerveZ says:

    I’d like to see more Bundesliga on FSC!

  40. FXB says:

    I’ll volunteer myself to make love to beautiful Brazilian woman and create a little wunderkid. He will be named “Steve” and he will go by that name on the back of his shirt when he plays for the USMNT in the 2034 World Cup.

  41. SwerveZ says:

    I’m from Columbus, and Yes, it has German Village with lots of bars and restaurants that are German owned. Very nice. The huge German population is down in Cinci though. Huge, they even have a Hoffbrau Haus!!! Go, if you’re there!

  42. SwerveZ says:

    This must be inside joke… :)

  43. SwerveZ says:

    I agree! Wouldn’t happen with France either!

  44. SwerveZ says:

    Does he have sons???

  45. Smits says:

    To paraphrase Walter Szobchek, “Bleeping Germans, nothing ever changes.”

  46. K-Town says:


    @ Jack – Since are into history check out this book:

    GIs and Fräuleins:
    The German-American Encounter in 1950s West Germany

    A nice synopsis can be read here-
    / It talks about a lot of what happened after WWII and how Americans influenced the area, including how racially integrated military units caused some morally questionable births in what was a conservative area.

  47. Clayton says:

    haha that’s pretty funny. Gotta love the game.

  48. K-Town says:

    I lived in Dayton Ohio at WPAFB. German Village in Columbus is indeed a cool place to hang out.

  49. chris says:

    dont wont to be mean or anything but Chandler looks like a mutated animal.

  50. K-Town says:

    IDK, but isn’t his wife American?

  51. Andy says:

    K-Town. I’m class of ’87 from Frankfurt High School. My mother is English, my father was in the Army and then went DOD.

  52. K-Town says:

    Homeboy is no Cristiano Ronaldo, but he has skillz. Less time with the ladies, more time to focus on football. Cuz we have all seen the problems ladies have caused for people like Ashley Cole! Oh! We don’t need pretty boys with distractions.

  53. SwerveZ says:

    Nice!!!! I’m from Yellow Springs! Ever go there K-Town?

  54. Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser says:

    I just left Heidelberg last summer, miss it and my club very much. Were you at that Bayern-Lautern friendly 2 winters ago when Donovan struck the back of the net? That was an awesome match! Auf gehts Bayern!

  55. SwerveZ says:

    Yes, that’s why he’s there! Perfect…

  56. SwerveZ says:


  57. K-Town says:

    My bad, I thought you had replied to me. Confused moment over.

  58. Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser says:

    Dooley runs an academy in Stuttgart, and many of the jugends in his camp have US connections.

  59. K-Town says:

    Nice. I used to hang out at my friends house in Hanau Army Base. We would catch the train to downtown Frankfurt to skateboard, without cops harassing us! I LOVE Frankfurt! Used to go there and Heidelberg a lot.

  60. Jack says:

    Wasn’t anything about historical accuracy, more the invading and setting up bases part.

  61. Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser says:

    Dooley runs an academy in Stuttgart with several jugend Yanks under his stead.

  62. K-Town says:

    Sadly, no. I left in 2001, and haven’t been back since :( I joined the USAF and got stuck on a beautiful island in the Pacific. LOL! But I need to go back. I have family in Heppenheim, between Darmstadt and Heidelberg.

  63. Dony Tanza-Army says:

    Landon Donovan, Bundesliga veteran? C’mon, Ives. Veteran, obviously. When compounded with Bundesliga…false. How many matches did he play in the German top flight? Exactly. And the Munchen matches don’t count. Joe Ngwenya played in more competitive matches for Bayern than LD did.

    (SBI-The literal definition of veteran is having experienced something. Donovan DID play in Germany, so he’s a veteran. Nobody said you had to be a ten-year vet with 400 games played to be called a veteran.)

  64. SwerveZ says:


  65. Pablo says:

    I like Jones comment to Donovan about wanting to learn English. Making the 2014 team would be a huge career highlight for him and I wonder how much influence he had in pushing for the loan to an EPL team so he could get to work on learning and possibly integrate into the USMNT faster.

  66. K-Town says:

    Yeah, my bad, I thought you were replying to my post. I agree, invading and occupying territories is not good humor.

  67. K-Town says:

    Dude I went to Freaking Fairborn High School 95-97! I went to three high schools in case people are wondering. Military brat. Yellow Springs is one of my favorite small towns in America hands down. Used to ride my bike on the bike trail there and go to John Bryan State Park to chill and de-stress. My dad almost bought a house in Yellow Springs when we were stationed there. I love SBI, such a small world.

  68. abc says:

    I totally forgot Jurgen Klinsmann is married to an American woman. How many kids to they have?

    Also, Franz Beckenbauer spent five years with the New York Cosmos, surely he knocked up a few American broads in that time….

  69. AshortDeparture says:

    We tried, remember Jurgi? xD

  70. SwerveZ says:

    Sweet!!!! I was friends with Dave Chappelle before he was famous. :) I used to play you guys in soccer in the early 90’s. You guys used to be good, I have no idea now. I went on to play at Ohio State for a little bit.
    YS is still my fav. place in the U.S., even though there are no mountains or ocean. It’s just a really cool place, with some good soccer/football for it’s size. We even had a kid from Germany on our team for a while.

  71. Jack says:

    Hah, I don’t think that the ladies that Ashley Cole and his teammates seem to hang around these days care what you look like as long as you can pay (sorry, crass…moving on).

    However, looks have absolutely nothing to do with soccer skills, otherwise the general consensus amongst the lady fans I know is that Eric Lichaj would have RB locked up over Timmy (that is not to say that Lichaj doesn’t have a lot of skill and potential either).

  72. Brian says:

    ELAC is a Chivas USA fan…so I’m guessing he’s of Mexican heritage

  73. K-Town says:

    Yeah, I remember when Chappelle used to hang out there. Not sure if many people know about that. Didn’t he used to go back and forth between YS and D.C.? And if anyone is wondering about his politics and comedy, Yellow Springs and Antioch college pretty much sum it up. LOL.

    Yellow Springs: Highest concentration of white boys with dreads in the US. Bank on that. I’m talking back in the day too, before it was mainstream.

    As for our soccer team, it was ok in the mid-late 90’s. Kettering was tearing it up though. Oh yeah, cuz guys like freaking Chris Rolfe played there around 2000, and that school had like 3000 kids there. Damn him.

  74. Brian says:

    I read an interview with Jones on the Yanks Abroad website a few weeks ago. His English has drastically improved.

  75. Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser says:

    That’s a typical German reaction to a Yank who ruins the perfekt

  76. AJ says:

    So do Xavi or Iniesta have any sisters that we can put an Army base next to?

  77. K-Town says:

    “He is married to Chinese-American Debbie Chin, a former model. The couple have two children, Jonathan (born 1997) and Laila (born 2001).”-wiki- Jurgen has a 14 year old boy!

    But we gotta beat the Chinese and the Germans to him! LOL!

    It is like there is some kind of international espionage stuff going on involving soccer DNA. Would it be abuse of power if President Obama authorized the CIA to help the USMNT’s cause? I would give him a pass on that one anyway.

  78. Cay says:

    This is coming from a girl. If looks had anything to do with it, Lichaj would have started.

    It’s hard to complain after rewatching some of those crosses Chandler had into the box, though. I don’t care how he looks or what language he speaks–if he can do that, I am happy to have him on the team.

  79. Soccernste says:

    The more yanks we can sock away in the Bundesliga the better. It is on the rise and well positioned financially for fairplay restrictions. Would not be surprised at all if it was the top league in the world within 5-10 yrs.

  80. abc says:

    The Bundesliga passed Italy to move from 4th to 3rd this year, and it should pass Spain next year or the year after. I think that would be the correct hierarchy for now: England, Germany, Spain, Italy. But yeah they could eventually pass even the Premier League in a decade or so.

  81. bottlcaps says:

    Yeas, I think it’s a pretty cool natural progression to think we might have a german coach sometime in the near future.

    Of course, Jurgen Klinsmann comes to mind. But I think Thomas Dooley is coaching in Germany, as well as now, Joe Enochs.

    Although no matter who we bring in from Europe/South America., etc in the future, I think our style is, and always will be, American. And while we may borrow a lot of the good strategy and tactic as well as techniques, and even some of the bad ones, what we develop on the field will be a blend of African, South and Central American, English as well as German and European soccer styles and, like our country itself, will be uniquely American!

  82. FulhamPete says:

    That’s one of the benefits of having public high schools field teams for basically free. The idea of team and the importance of chemistry is lost in Europe unless you are an academy kid, and even then the real motivation is money.

    Euroyouths have to pay REAL GOOD money for valuable club experience… significantly more than travel ball in the US. Here kids can try out at school, play at an ok level of play, them move on to higher levels after they learn the importance of “team.”

    It’s not producing the BEST talent…but we’re getting better.

  83. MiamiAl says:


    Germany is an excellent role model for us to have when it comes to soccer!

  84. Louis Z says:

    Germanay has also touched my family, my sister is married to a german, my son is married to a german.

    But Germany is not in my pecking order of favorite teams during the WC, First USA second Spain third my natal Peru but has been years since they qualified.

  85. Cay says:

    The reasons behind all of that hair gel are suddenly crystal clear.

  86. bryan says:

    Guam?! i lived there for 2 years when my dad was stationed at Andersen AFB.

  87. bryan says:

    i think GolTV has the rights to to the Bundesliga right now.

  88. bryan says:

    yeah, he spent a lot of time in DC.

  89. Supsam says:

    if my sister had her way, Beckermann, Lichaj, Kljestan, Donovan, Bradley (when he had hair),Feilhaber and Bocanegra would all be in the starting XI. Players like Chandler, Adu and Bornstein wouldnt even sniff the bench. Yes, her assessment was 75% based on looks and 25% skill

  90. bryan says:

    my last name is “pickle” in German, so i’m loving this! I have Germans in the USMNT team, I have Germans on Madrid. I’m loving it. USA, Germany, Spain for me.

  91. Jack says:

    Same with my sister, including the verdict on Bradley’s hair (“but he was so CUTE when he was with the MetroStars”). Also, Holden. Dude looks like a 15 year old to me, but something about that hair. (Alright, brotherly guilt kicking in for knocking her. My sister actually knows just as much about soccer as I do.)

  92. K-Town says:

    Yeah buddy! I was stationed there from 2005-06. I played for the Anderson AFB soccer team in the “Budweiser Guam Men’s Soccer League”, Division I sucka’s! For those that don’t know, that is the top flight league in Guam, kinda like the EPL, or La Liga, just sayin’. Guam’s national team is currently ranked 188, just ahead of Mauritius, and Djibouti at the dead bottom of the world! But how many of you posters can say you played top flight football? LOL!

    Sadly, it seems the AFB no longer has a team in the league. We were pretty good when I was there. Except Shipyard used to kick our butts. Those locals would schedule games at noon on the freaking equator and show up with hoody’s and warm-ups! We had to line up water bottles around the pitch, yet I never saw them drink one sip.

  93. dan says:

    I have to say this is one of the most interesting threads I’ve read on SBI in a long time. A real credit to the internet, and much better than the old Jozy vs. Chicharito nonsense.

  94. timothy says:

    but to answer your question, we have bases in some 130 countries

  95. dan says:

    I agree but if you cover up his hairline with your hand and imagine his skin a few shades lighter, he looks very German. strange.

  96. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    I’ve put some of the comments from this youtube video of ‘Dolo speaking German through google translate. Ze Germans think he sounds like he was born there, and apparently his accent is near perfection.

    link to

  97. Daniel says:

    Frankfurt American High School Class of ’94!! Good to see another Eagle on here.

  98. Ian says:

    My sister was at Ramstein until 2005 and I got to visit her twice and went to two Kaiserslautern games at the Fritz Walter. Unfortunately she was reassigned before 2006 so no free bed for me during the Cup but K-town was amazing for the US-Italy game. Best rendition of the Star Spangled Banner that I’ve ever heard at a sporting event. I still get goosebumps thinking about that game and that crowd!

  99. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Guys guys guys, hold on. We must bow down to this man, for he is a living legend in the Guam premier division, or the BGMSL. I’ve been a long time follower of the BGMSL and I must say that I’m humbled to be in the presence of one of the few greats who have made it to such lofty heights in the footballing world. Respect, gentlemen. Show it.

  100. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    I prefer bundesliga to that poop they call Serie A that they play all the time on FSC.

  101. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Yeah but wasn’t that some sort of weird planned thing? Like she was a surrogate or something.

  102. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Beck’s son was conceived in Brooklyn. Does that count?

  103. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    If you like seeing that kind of stuff, look up the ussoccer videos on youtube. There is a lot of candid stuff. In one video, Maurice Edu beats Gooch in FIFA with a last minute free kick… by Maurice Edu.

  104. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Any update on Jared Jeffrey?

  105. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    That is quite the impressive fro.

  106. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Beckermann and Kljestan? Your sister likes some grungy, dirty looking dudes.

  107. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    My sister’s been a fan of Holden since he kept checking her out at some salon in Houston way back when. We joke that they are destined together, and I made sure to get her a Holden jersey for her birthday. However, she’s become pretty enamored with Benny as of late. This video helped:

    link to

    She might get a chance to meet him this summer, too, so that helps. That lucky jerk.

  108. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    At least he’s not getting his French corrected by a Frenchman. Zut alors!

  109. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Germany is by far the most financially stable of the big leagues, and they also have the highest attendance ratings (better than the PL because their stadiums are bigger). If they keep it up and the PL continues with its financial woes, then I think the Bundesliga *could* surpass it.

  110. Curtis says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself

  111. Coop says:

    Finally USA joins the long proud tradition of player poaching!!!

  112. nate says:

    Seriously. At first I thought that was a joke but it looks like he really meant it.

  113. John says:

    it’s only a matter of time before all of his kids are american citizens. read a british newspaper article a while ago where he said they all speak in american accents and the youngest one thinks it’s funny beckham has an english accent.

  114. Wolf says:

    I am just frustrated that our in-country system continues to fail at producing enough quality players. The number of players in the US system is immense and yet they can’t compete with the very small pool of players who qualify for the US pool who got their training outside the US. The US youth system is failing badly.

  115. OmarVizquel says:

    “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”

  116. thanks for your information

  117. Charles says:

    Dead beat American army dads, bringin’ home the goods for American soccer since before the wall fell.

  118. Kris (Vfb!) says:

    The one to watch out for is Hurzeler.

    Btw, during the thread about midwestern German heritage: I’m from Milwaukee, and up until world war 2, the main newspaper was still in German language. Up until world war 2, we had something like 70% Germans in the city, lol. Wisconsin had/has the highest concentration of Germans per capita because the land, soil, climate, and main times of migration all lined up with their needs. (Minnesota is a close second.)

  119. joe says:

    He was with Bayer Leverkusen for five or six years. Whether or not he played in that many games, he still had to train with them day in and day out.

  120. McNulty says:

    Are Donovan’s guns even legal in Germany?

  121. Paul C says:

    That’s right! We’re money!

  122. Warren says:


    My soccer-fanatic 14 year-old has a Brazilian (and US) passport thanks to his Brazilian mom – does he qualify for Bradenton? Ok, he’s not that good. Passes better than Onyewu, though, which ain’t saying much : )

    Seriously guys, I advise you start planning repeat scouting trips to Brazil to help you prepare for World Cup 2014…and then Olympics 2016. You got five years of excuses to do your part for your country!!!

    Plus the economy is booming; getting a work visa is hard but not impossible. Via agora!

  123. Warren says:

    Only 55% coverage?

  124. inkedAG says:

    Maybe it’s me, but crapping out of Germany three times and doing a decent loan for a month or so doesn’t seem to qualify as a Bundesliga veteran. Steve Cherundolo, no THAT is a Bundesliga veteran.

  125. Warren says:

    Eurostar kids get wined and dined – ok their parents do – and play free of charge/parents on payroll practically pekaing, subsidized by kid with richer daddies and not as much skill…I belive that’s the way the clubs work in general. Pay to play…unless you’re a phenom with pro potential.

  126. Primoone says:

    Sisters of all of you huh……