Johnson’s one-time switch to join USMNT approved by FIFA

Fabian Johnson 1 (TSG Hoffenheim)

TSG Hoffenheim midfielder/defender Fabian Johnson won't be with the U.S. men's national team for its October friendlies due to a neck injury, but he will be able to represent the United States in the near future.

The 23-year-old Johnson has had his one-time switch of association approved by FIFA, making him eligible to play for the U.S. team. 

Johnson, who was born in Munich, Germany to an American father and German mother, had recently filed paperwork to change his international allegiances to the United States after having represented Germany at youth national team levels. He practiced with the U.S. team earlier this month but was unable play in its friendlies against Costa Rica and Belgium.

The switch means Johnson cannot represent any other country besides the United States at the international level from here on out.

What do you think of Johnson's switch being approved? Hoping to see him at left back at some point down the road?

Share your thoughts below.

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58 Responses to Johnson’s one-time switch to join USMNT approved by FIFA

  1. Hush says:

    Yes!!! Not if only Mr.Miyagi was still alive so he can perform his magic on Stu!!

  2. ronniet says:

    All i can say is hip hop hooray! Big news going forward as he may be the left back we’ve been looking for to solve that glaring weakness for the last 10 years or so! He can also play on the wing so that gives us options if some injuries or out of form players pop up! Or, he could take a spot on the wing if he turns out to be better than what we already have!

  3. Michael F. says:

    I’ve never seen him play. Is he any good? How old is he? Hope he works out.

  4. Cyrus says:

    23 and very good

  5. Khan says:

    He is a starter for Hoffenheim who is currently in 4th or 5th place in the Bundesliga. He is 23, and won the Euro U21s as starter for Germany.

  6. downintexas says:

    Or he might not pan out. All the best to him, but lets let him prove himself first.

  7. Primoone says:

    German-Engineered B-Class. B- for Baller.

  8. Carl says:

    Awesome news, after terrible news for Stu Holden. Following the USMNT is a roller coaster of emotions 😉

  9. Khan says:

    He is a major player on a top 5 Bundesliga team, which to be honest already puts him ahead of 3/4s of our national team in terms of skill and quality.

  10. Tony in Quakeland says:

    USA über alles!

  11. Tony in Quakleand says:

    And no, it has nothing to do with the Nazis. It means “above all”…

  12. Wm. says:

    I remember sitting in the stands at Stamford waiting for the WC ’98 qualifier between US and Canada to begin and wondering why we needed guys like David Wagner or either of the fabulous (sarcasm) Mason brothers on the field. I looked forward to the day that we didn’t need to find eligible foreign players to augment a weak USA squad.

    Thought the MLS would fix all of that, but I guess we are not quite there yet.

  13. Anthony says:

    How can he be only eligible for the US going forward but not be cap tied if it is a one time switch?

  14. Jamaal says:

    Obviously Klinsi is sealing the deal with this video (check out the 1 min. mark). link to

  15. Aquaman says:

    I think it’s semantics. He is tied to the US but not Cap tied to the US because he has not been capped by any US teams yet.

  16. Jamaal says:

    And the 2:27 mark.

  17. mistadobolina says:

    16 of the 21 players just called up either play in MLS or started their pro careers there.

    just saying, its not perfect but we wouldn’t be anywhere close to where we are with out it!

    Welcome to the team Johnson!

  18. mistadobolina says:

    make that 22 players called in..

  19. Jerome says:

    German-Americans are likely going to save our National Team till 2018.

    All these kids are 21 or younger and are either playing/practicing with first team or reserve players at a very young age for big or good German clubs:

    Terrence Boyd(Borrusia Dortmund)
    John Brooks (Hertha Berlin)
    Jerome Kiesewetter (Hertha Berlin)
    Jann George ( Nurnberg)
    Timothy chandler (Nurnberg)
    Andrew Wooten (Kaiserlautern)
    Fabian Hurzeler (Bayern Munich)
    Tyrone McCargo (Nurnberg)
    Shawn Parker (Mainz)
    Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin)

    Then add in the rest:

    Fabian Johnson (Hoffenhiem)
    Daniel Williams (Hoffenhiem)
    Jermaine Jones (Schalke)
    David Yelledell (Bayer Leverkusen)

    I 100% Approve my own Message.

  20. mistadobolina says:

    haha! i think that was the moment he decided to become the US NT coach.

  21. Jerome says:

    NO. He does not play left back. He plays ATTACKING WINGER at RM/LM for Hoffenhiem. He actually never really played Left back at all since 18 years old it was a big mistake when everybody thought he was a left-back because google translater did a poor job on translating his match reports when he played. From 1860 Munich to Now he has played 90% Attacking winger and 10% emergency left back. but has done bad at left-back most of the time. but really good at attacking winger

  22. bottlcaps says:

    Don’t fool yourself. Look at Germany’s team and follow how many Polish players they have, or follow other European countries like the Dutch or French. They all have naturalized players. It’s true that some have been brought up by their own youth systems, but not all.

    The US is a nation of immigrants, and we are equal opportunity employers and will take their marketable skills to our team any day.Even with national leagues with unquestionable strength and depth of homeborn and homegrown players, will still find players who after being naturalized or obtaining citizenship will be added to the national team due to their skills.

    Now if only the US Army can put a base in Brazil and in twenty years…..

  23. mistadobolina says:

    so could we get a üSA vs. USA game some time? give that squad a few years and that could be a good starting XI!

  24. Jamaal says:

    How hilarious would it be if the American Outlaws sang it during part of the game…then again, it is a song by the Village People that we are talking about.

  25. Because you can only switch affiliation once. He was a German youth player and had applied to switch to be eligible with the U.S. Hence his ONE TIME SWITCH.

  26. Black Tide says:

    “The switch doesn’t technically cap-tie Johnson to the United States, …but Johnson cannot represent any other country besides the United States at the international level from here on out.”

    Yeah I am pretty sure the fact that he cannot play for another team means he is cap tied and not in a technical sense.

  27. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Come one, now. You’d be hard-pressed to find a national team that wouldn’t take a talented foreign-born player if the opportunity arose. Lukas Podolski (born in Poland, plays for Germany), Giuseppe Rossi (United States, Italy), Nani (Cape Verde, Portugal), Owen Hargreaves (Canada, England). Try as I might, I can’t understand your objection.

  28. PD says:

    as if having another attacking winger in the Klinsi scheme is a bad thing. I’m behind the let’s-wait-and-see-how-he-fares-before-we -annoint-him crowd, but I am all for us having more high quality high pedigree players in the mix, it only serves to elevate the level of expectation among those who thing a starting role is owed them and will only make the program stronger.

    Until we have a national senior squad where we have two and three players legitimately vying for nearly every spot, we will never be a force to be reckoned with.

  29. PD says:

    relax, buddy, every american came from somewhere else. at least we’re not rubber stamping passports…

  30. PD says:

    You bring up an interesting point about Podolski, I know a lot of Polish soccer fans who never got over that one…

    It’ll be interesting to see how many Brasilian-born Qataris show up for that WC….

  31. PD says:

    Village People doing a video with Die Mannschaft. Of dear, hide your kids and hide your wife…

    What’s hilarious is that NONE of Germans are clapping on the beat…

  32. Jamaal says:

    I was told that rhythm was optional that day.

  33. MicahK says:

    My friend at school is German and he always disses the USA national team for us having foreign players. And I was like you guys have polish, turkish, one brazilian, and other play naturalized players and he said that all their foreign payers were born in Germany that is a lie.

  34. MicahK says:

    And also my paternal grand fathers family is from Guinea-Bissau. If you look on the U-20 Portuguese team who got second place to Brazil this past summer you will see like 4-5 on the players were born in Guinea-Bissau. So it is sometimes good to have other countries and places to pull eligible players.

  35. Hush says:

    Anyone noticed Daniel, Jones’s, Johnson, and Chandler’s dad in the vid!lmao … Or was that Soldier the complete same one over and over?! :)

  36. RB says:

    Which means it’s still just semantics, as Aquaman said. No chance for him to play now for anyone but the US, precisely as if he were cap-tied to the US.

    Sorry, ÃœS.

  37. JSS says:

    The Podolskis came to Germany in 1987 when he Lukas was 2 years old as ethnic German emigrants from Poland same as Klose btw. who came to Germany when he was 7 in 1985.
    So it isn’t quite the same I think.

    Fun fact I found when looking up the dates in both cases (Podolski and Klose) the father where ethnic Germans who played professional soccer and the mothers where ethnic Poles that played internationally handball for Poland.

  38. Dan says:

    Oh my god now that is a bonafide MUST SEE video.

  39. MicahK says:

    I was confused on that too. If he cannot rep another country he is all in a sense cap tied.

  40. Josh says:

    And Miroslav Klose isn’t exactly the most Teutonic name, either…

  41. Turgid Jacobian says:

    No, because he hasn’t been capped. He is no longer eligible to represent any other nations, but that isn’t the entirety of what *cap* tied refers to.

  42. Konrad Adenauer says:

    Because Hitler using only the verse containing the ueber alles lyrics as a Nazi symbol to put super humans, otherwise known as “ethnic” Germans, “above all” has nothing to do with Nazi ideals…

    But, as you are technically correct, I say sing on…

  43. Missoula says:

    That could be the best video on the internet. I love how Klinsi is feeling the groove. Does anybody know, are the Village People doing weddings?

  44. sir coble says:


  45. torporindy says:

    This is fantastic news.

  46. Brian says:

    Wrong. Klose’s father is an ethnic German and holds German nationality

  47. DC Josh says:

    I’ve never seen him play, but any Bundesliga player should be good enough to make our national team better.

  48. AdamFromMich says:

    True, but it’s easier to say (and write) cap-tied than it is to say one-time-switch-tied.

  49. Annelid Gustator says:

    Easier still to say “tied.”

  50. GoBlue says:

    Ok so I have been watching this guy for some time now and this season he has had loads of success playing in the middle. Maybe he plays a tucked in wing but it sure looks like he is making plays from the Center of midfield. That being said he is our best option at ACM.

  51. GoBlue says:

    I have watched all of Fabian’s games this season with Hoffenheim and he has been playing in an Attacking Center Mid position. From what I have seen he is our best option in the middle of the field. He has created chances from both passing and taking defenders on 1v1 or even 1v3 and has had loads of success. He would be a waste at left back. He has all of the best attributes of our center mids combined and none of the drawbacks. Bottom line… He makes plays!

  52. GoBlue says:

    Go to footytube and watch the Hoffenhiem games. He is a monster in the midfield

  53. FattyMatty says:

    I can’t believe you made it that far!

  54. PetedeLA says:

    Klose is a German name.

  55. Paul Thomas says:

    I think it’s fair to say that there’s a large difference between an immigrant wanting to play for the US, and someone who’s never lived here in his life wanting to play for the US.

    The first is something I support 100%. The second makes me a little queasy. It smacks of opportunism.

  56. GW says:

    “Thought the MLS would fix all of that, but I guess we are not quite there yet.”

    And may never be.

    Germany is one of the most succesful national teams in the history of the game. Guess who uses even more dual nationals than they did ten years ago?

  57. Mike says:

    He was born Mirosław Kloze in Poland. His family is completely Polish. Klose is a Germanization of the name.

  58. Mike says:

    You are confusing ethnic German with Silesian. It is a common mistake, especially in English translations. Silesians are Polish, but Prussia ruled the region for hundreds of years. Thus, Silesians are quite easily able to obtain German citizenship.