Brooks scores in Bundesliga debut for dominant Hertha Berlin

JABrooks (Getty)


For Hertha Berlin, Saturday’s match against Eintracht Frankfurt was a dream return to the Bundesliga.

For German-American defender John Anthony Brooks, it was a dream debut in Germany’s top division just days before he is expected to receive his first senior call-up to the U.S. Men’s National Team.

The defending 2. Bundesliga champions started their season with a commanding 6-1 home victory over Eintracht Frankfurt, who were the surprise story of last year’s Bundesliga campaign. Brooks, who is expected to be a part of the USMNT roster for Wednesday’s friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina, netted Hertha Berlin’s second goal on Saturday.

Here is video of Brooks’ goal:

Hertha Berlin went on and score four more times before the final whistle thanks to braces from Adrian Ramos and Sami Allagui. Brooks played every minute of the rout for the newly promoted club.

What do you think of this news? Excited to see Brooks have a great Bundesliga debut days before he is expected to join the USMNT?

Share your thoughts below.

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76 Responses to Brooks scores in Bundesliga debut for dominant Hertha Berlin

  1. Andrew says:

    i don’t see why he shouldn’t be in the discussion to pair besler. omar and goodson are both fine, but they certainly have made enough mistakes that i’d give him a shot, especially given the potential

    • dcpohl says:


    • Kent says:

      Brooks is young and needs more games but he’s certainly in the discussion.

      In theory, an Omar/Brooks backline would fare better. From what I’ve read, Brooks isn’t very good in the air, whereas that’s one of Omar’s strength. The only weakness would be Omar’s occasional glitch and speedy forwards which could be neutralized with Brooks’ good positioning and good communication between the CB’s and CM’s.

      • Dudester says:

        Yeah two 6’4 CB’s would def work.Actually the only place I’ve seen this is Stoke with Huth and Shawcross.In theory the best pairing is Brooks-Cameron imo.Cameron takes Besler’s spot.Hes quick enough that he can cover for a guy like Gonzo or JAB plus he brings a more physical presence than Besler.Brooks plays the more dominant cb role,ala Gonzo.6’4 and weak in the air?Really? I’ll believe it when I see it.Brooks is not slight of frame like Goodson so unless he has a 10 inch vert I don’t see it.

        • Kent says:

          Sarcasm was uncalled for. Just wanted to have a discussion. Hummels and Subotic are both 6’4″ and Dortmund does pretty well.

          I forgot about Cameron. He would be the better option if he got consistent playing time at CB. Also, just being tall doesn’t translate to being great in the air. I’m inclined to agree with those close to the situation when it comes to Brooks’ aerial ability.

          • Dudester says:

            Sorry about the sarcasm,did not mean to offend. Subotic and Hummels are both much more mobile than Gonzo that’s for sure.Brooks is closer to 6’6 than 6’4 and his heading prowess or lack there of is prob due to a positioning and or anticipation issue.Not something physical which he can’t work into his game.Alas playing time at one specific pos doesn’t stop Klinsi from putting diff players all over the place.Cam didn’t play cb for over half a season with stoke and was still our only lockdown starter in the middle.In fact Geoff lost his starting spot when he was played at RB for the first time.The same game Besler and Gonzo got their first run out together.

        • louisz says:

          I think JAB is faster than Cameron but not as fast as Besler

      • THomas says:

        I think that Besler needs to be part of any discussion at this point. He’s our only automatic CB choice right now.

    • Brett says:

      JAB is left footed and generally plays the LCB spot in a 4-man defense. That means he would be competing against Besler, who plays the same spot. I think Goodson and JAB are our starting CBs for Brazil as long as JAB commits and has a strong season. Gonzo and Besler will be the backup pairing.

      Honestly, I’d really like to see Jones deployed as the right-footed distributing CB beside JAB, and then we could elevate someone more creative to play beside General Bradley.

      • Dudester says:

        No way is Goodson starting in Brazil.He has to beat out Gonzo Besler Cameron and now Brooks.

        • Dudester says:

          I have no doubt in my mind that two out of those four will be our starters in Brazil.

          • Brett says:

            Well, Gonzo and Goodson are competing for RCB and Besler has LCB locked up unless JAB joins the squad, in which case those two would be in competition. I think Goodson is the lesser of evils between he and Gonzo. Honestly, I might put Orozco ahead of Gonzo if JAB is beside him (we don’t necessarily need two towering CBs and Gonzo gets caught ball-watching way too often).

            Cameron will be a utility man, plugged in at CM, RB, LB, or either CB spot. I really don’t see him starting unless someone else is hurt or suspended.

            • Dudester says:

              You’re overstating the importance of playing on one particular side me thinks.Any modern Cb worth his salt should be good enough with both feet that they can play both spots without any drop off.The only players who only use one foot are fwds.

              • Brett says:

                I think you’re understating the importance of seeing the game a particular way over and over and over again. It’s not about which foot they use except in situations where they are recovering in defense and need to be in a better position to clear the ball. Most professional defenders are capably two-footed. It also helps to have players who can distribute off of one or the other with accuracy when distributing from the back.

                There’s a reason why steady play is important to keep peak performance. That play doesn’t do much good if you’re tossed all over the place.

      • ACS says:

        He can use both feet really well, he is very calm on the ball, would have one of the best if not the best footwork in the CB position on the USMNT and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes when the ball is at his feet.

      • Tom_in_So_IL says:

        Jones would get red carded too much as a CB.

        • Brett says:

          As a midfielder it is his job to blow up attacks, and sometimes that leads to bookings for late challenges.

          As a central defender he would not find himself chasing from behind as much. His vision is excellent when he keeps the game in front of him.

          • Ben James says:

            There’s no chance we play Jones as a CB. He’s the frontrunner at CM along Bradley and that’s a totally different position for someone who’s never played there before. Especially when that someone is the player most likely to make a rash challenge.

            • Brett says:

              I didn’t say it was likely. I said I’d like to see it.

              We played Mo Edu and Geoff Cameron at CB even though both are primarily midfield players. Klinsmann likes to drop defensive mids into center back roles.

  2. J.A.B. says:

    German-American Julian Green (Bayern Munich II) played and scored today as well. Obviously, it’s not the same as doing it in the Bundesliga. He is one that will be interesting to continue following.

    Here is a link to some comments from Kevin Prince-Boateng on German-Americans playing for the USMNT.

    link to

  3. BV7 says:

    We need to lock this kid up ASAP. As for Besler I would love him playing out in Europe specially in England he’s very talented he deserves to be playing with the best same with Gonzalez if Cameron is good enough to play there than so is Besler and Cameron. I never thought the USMNT would have a strong prospects of Center Backs! Gonzalez, Besler, Brooks, Cameron!!!!

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  5. Mike E. says:

    One of the top young CBS in all of Europe. Coup for us.

  6. AcidBurn says:

    So usually it’s hyperbole and exaggeration, but…


    JK, the #4 CB spot is open. JAB’s potential > Goodson > Orozco > Gooch > Ream (hehe)

    • Slowreno says:

      Ream hehe made me hehe…

    • Ted Ted says:

      LOL @ Ream, I remember Ives having it hard for him.

      • Ives Galarcep says:

        Right, like I was the only one who thought he was good at one point. Bob Bradley did start him in the 2011 Gold Cup so stop acting like he was terrible back then.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          ives, he was terrible back then.

          but your point stands, which is that you weren’t the only one who was wrong. : P

          • Ives Galarcep says:

            He wasn’t though. I know you THINK he was, but from his rookie year into his second MLS season he was solid, but then the mistakes started coming. That didn’t stop Bolton from buying him, but it did allow some folks like yourselves to ignore when he was actually oustanding, choosing to pretend like he was crap from day one, which he wasn’t.

            • Brett says:

              For club, no. But for country, he was most definitely “crap from day one”.

              • whoop-whoop says:

                Being on the West Coast, I didn’t see as much of him as some, but he looked pretty damn promising his rookie year. For the Nats, he wasn’t ready to be a starter. Kind of a prime example of pushing a developing player too far too soon, but….. unfortunately, we were tissue paper thin at CB at the time.

            • kev2 says:

              I think his weaknesses in the air were apparent even in his early MLS days. I recall Chad Barrett making Ream his bitch on a header. Yes, Chad Barrett.

            • Nate Dollars says:

              nah, i didn’t ‘ignore when he was actually outstanding’. i just noticed that it was against subpar competition, and understood that his flaws would be sorely exposed when he had to play against decent players.

              he’s never been good enough for the international level, even in concacaf. maybe someday.

  7. Travis says:

    Everytime a JAB article is posted I expect to see an explosion in the comments section.

  8. Dudester says:

    What happened to Cameron at cb? Around the time we were winning in Azteca he was the only lockdown starter there.Fast forward two months and he’s out of the convo.Even though I haven’t seen him play I would take Brooks over (1 fatal mistake a game)Gonzo right now.For all his size Omar is not that athletic.I would also take Cameron over Besler, I don’t know if he can handle the physical play at the highest level.Cameron on the other hand is quick enough to cover for someone like Brooks and is pretty physical himself. Cameron-Brooks for Brazil.

    • Dudester says:

      *meant to say Cameron lost his starting gig as a CB.Not that he’s out of the convo,clearly he’s not.

    • Isaac says:

      What I think happened is that Cameron became a decent-looking partner next to Michael Bradley. Jermaine Jones is still in the mix though, and he looked good against Germany.

      The good thing is that this is all not a ‘problem’. Cameron and Brooks very well could turn out to be the guys we turn to in Brazil. Cameron could also partner Bradley in central midfield, which is the option I’m in favor of. Meanwhile, Gonzalez is still learning, so there’s a good chance he’ll have done some growing by the end of the MLS season. Goodson and Orozco are still choices, no matter how skeptical people are, and Besler is turning out better than anybody could have dreamed since back at his first start in the Azteca.

      Definitely a good conundrum to have :)

      • Dudester says:

        The only way Klinsi dosent start Jones in Brazil is if he has a dramatic loss of form or injury.Cameron may be a better fit with Bradley.JJ is has seniority, don’t believe everything Klinsi says about all spots being open for competiton.

      • GW says:

        What happened is Cameron made a series of mistakes while playing CB for the US. This comes after a season of not playing CB for Stoke all year.

        As a US center back he is behind Besler, Goodson and Gonzales but will probably make Brazil because of his versatility in midfield and defense.

        • Dudester says:

          Really what games were these series of mistakes? If I remeber correctly he didn’t make many glaring mistakes in a “series of games”that wouldve caused him to get dropped.Unlike one starter named Gonzo.Instead he was moved to RB for some qualifiers after Cherundolo got injured and didn’t fare very well there.Then the Besler-Gonzo pairing came along and he was never given another shot at CB.

          • GW says:

            If you remember the Honduras loss Bengston’s goal was blamed on Gonzo but if you watch the replay carefully you’ll notice Gonzo was hung out to dry by Cameron and Howard who botched their part of the play. All three Gonzo, Howard and Cameron were just about equally to blame for that goal, the winner. From then on , Cameron went out to the right and has not played CB since. Besler came in and settled things down and then Goodson improved. Leading up to that Honduras games other than that friendly win at Azteca Cameron was just okay at CB and leading up to that Honduras game it seemed like not playing CB at Stoke was not a great thing for him.

            I think a lot of people forget that even though Cameron has been around a while he is not that experienced intenationally.

            As far as I’m concerned the best CB’s right now are Besler and Goodson with Gonzo just behind Goodson. If JAB lives up to the hype then Cameron’s WC hopes, barring injury to anyone, rest on what he does at right back and midfield and his ability to play CB in a pinch.

        • Brett says:

          This is it. He can’t be expected to play a position at the international level when he isn’t playing there at all for his club.

          I believe he has a natural position and that position is as a defensive-minded midfielder who can play box to box. His presence could allow us to go into a tournament a little thin at CB and RB/LB, but he’s not a starter anywhere else.

          • whoop-whoop says:

            Cameron definitely has the talent/tools to be a very nice CB, but I agree, it is awfully hard to play at this level when you are not doing it day in and day out with your club. This is particularly so when you have played it as little as he has in his entire career. Unfortunately, the guy has been a bit of a victim of his own versatility as he can hold his own in multiple positions. Be nice to see what he could do if left alone at one long-term.

            • divers suck says:

              When did Beasley ever play LB for club, ever? You would be correct in saying NEVER!….Rhetorical question.

              • whoop-whoop says:

                True that diver. Don’t think that negates what I said though. Not playing a position regularly makes it awfully tough… Beasley has had struggles as a result, but done an incredible, admirable job under the circumstances. It is a hard position to be put in and DMB has said as much. Personally, I don’t think we’ll see him as a starting LB by the time we get to Brazil. LD back in form Corona’s emergence. Bedoya’s strong play and move to France, Shea gets healthy enough to be super-sub, we have much improved wing options than including DMB, so… Fabian is our LB. Time will tell!

              • Dudester says:

                When did Torres play LM for Pachuca or Tigres? I have watched him a lot with both clubs and never saw it.That being said he played well enough there at the GC.

          • whoop-whoop says:

            Torres actually looked as good at LM in the Gold Cup as I’ve seen him for the Nats. Previously he has been pretty ineffective, seemed to have a hard time getting involved. That said, the competition had something to do with that and… he is far from being a top option there. You think he’d be way more effective if he played there for club? Of course he wold.

            I’d also add that sliding into CB/the spine of the defense w/o regular time there is a lot more precarious a proposition. Slight hesitations, or miscues in position leave you and the team badly exposed, can easily cost a goal. Out wide in the midfield is waaaay more forgiving.

            So… can it be done? Yes, but when you start to have numerous, talented options who play a position all the time, it’s going to be tough to lock down the position. That’s where Cameron finds himself as opposed to 8 months ago. I ‘m definitely a Cameron fan, but this is very good news for the team.

  9. GretelNick says:

    Game-winning goal. Like it.

  10. Ted in MN says:

    BROOKS!!!!! Way to represent the #StarsnStripes #riseoftheyanks <–Terrence Boyd <–I love this guy

  11. Lost in Space says:

    A fabulous start for Brooks and Hertha. Hope he and the team do well this season.
    I believe Brooks plays LCB, he’s basically in competition with Besler with the USNT, unless one can play RCB. As it currently sits (in no particular order) LCB’s are Besler, Brooks & Goodson. RCB’s are Gonzalez, Goodson, Cameron, Orozco.
    The pairing I’d like to try during a friendly would be a Besler & Cameron pairing or Brooks & Cameron, as I still believe that Cameron is a better all around player than either Gonzo or Goodson.

    • ACS says:

      Like I said above, Brooks might be a lefty but when he plays I can’t really tell the difference in which foot is more dominant.

    • GW says:

      Mr. Space,

      Cameron is definitely a better all around player than those guys but he is not a better center back.

  12. Anis Galal says:

    I follow the German Bundesliga all the time.. I’m a Hertha fan since I knew what soccer is… Last year in the 2nd Bundesliga Brooks was the best defender! He had 0 yellow cards in the entire season. He is most likely one of the best defenders in his age… His game this weekend showed it! He was excellent. He is 6’4 tall and he heads every ball out… His ONLIEST problem is to head a goal… But he is 20 years old.. Enough time to learn it!
    I think Brooks will be one of the best Defenders USA ever had. Klinsmann our german coach will talk to him german and it won’t be a problem for him to play for the usa.. (american mom).
    We’ll see him in the World Cup 2014 and I think he’ll be our #1 defender.
    He has 1 year Bundesliga with opponents like Bayern and Dortmund to prepare.

    • Dudester says:

      So your a lifelong Hertha fan and you say he heads everything out.While those of us who have never seen him hear reports that he’s weak in the air.Honestly I don’t know what to believe till I see him for myself.

      • curva sud says:

        I think he means that Brooks has no accuracy on offensive set piece headers

        • Dudester says:

          Articles and opinions I have read from US soccer journos state JAB is weak in the air for a guy that’s 6’4.Anis Galal posted on here saying he’s a life long Hertha supporter and that Brooks “heads everything out”.??????

    • Rabbit says:

      Thanks Anis for the great info!

    • louisz says:

      I thought his dad was american, not his mom.

  13. MikeG says:

    Besler looks more like a German style of player. Besler is disciplined, composed, makes good corrections. I would love to see Besler and Omar go to Europe. Brooks already plays a good all around game just because he grew up in the Bundesliga.

    • Ted in MN says:

      Besler and Gonzalez would also become more efficient. Possibly less humorous in their day to day interactions but that is acceptable loss.

  14. Goalscorer24 says:

    Remember Brooks is not a yank yet, and the Bosnia game won’t cap tie him. He is checking the YS team hope it is an agreeable match all around.

  15. Goalscorer24 says:

    … US team…

  16. Ulysses says:

    If Brooks is such a coup, it would be wise for Klinsi and USA to invite him in the next qualifiers and cap him. Yep, as early as that Costa Rica away game and the Mexico game in Columbus. I’m hoping to see him and Johansson on the roster tomorrow for Bosnia.

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