Hertha BSC defender John Anthony Brooks is set to receive a call-up from the USMNT for the friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina on August 14, according to German news organization Kicker.
ESPN reporter Jeff Carlisle has confirmed the report via Twitter.
Brooks is of German birth, but his father is American, and he’s not committed to either country as of yet. This would be a massive blow to the German international team, whom Brooks has represented at the U-20 level, and a huge grab for the United States.
The 6-foot-4 20-year-old has attended a number of camps held by U-20 coach Tab Ramos, but turned down an invite to represent the United States at the past U-20 World Cup in order to recuperate from the past season, which saw Hertha promoted to the German top flight. He had previously told Berliner Kurier in April that he would play in the U-20 World Cup but hadn’t decided which team.
The Berlin-born defender made his debut with the Hertha senior team last season, and made 29 appearances in the 2.Bundesliga without drawing a single card, and also scored a goal.
Hertha manager Michael Preetz said of Brooks’ call-up, “The appointment will give him a boost and we hope he builds on his good performances of the season in the Bundesliga second division. This will give us another perspective on a very interesting young player.”
One would now expect Brooks to appear in the friendly, which will take place in Sarajevo at 2:30pm ET.
Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.
[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]
Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.
The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.
Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.
Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.
Like the move for Newcastle?
Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.
[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]
Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.
The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.
From The Players’ Tribune:
There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.
Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.
West Ham has reportedly set a club record with its latest signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.
Issa Diop is the player, the 21-year-old Toulouse captain and center back costing the Irons around $29 million.
[ MORE: Arsenal signs Leno ]
Diop scored three goals with an assist and eight yellow cards in 31 Ligue 1 matches this season, giving the young defender 95 apps, six goals, three assists, and 23 yellows since debuting with the senior team at 18.
Capped by France at every level below the senior team, Diop’s 2.2 interceptions per game ranked sixth in Ligue 1.
Toulose finished 18th in Ligue 1, but won its promotion/relegation playoff to stay in the French top flight.
“I am very happy to sign for such a historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”
In the third episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England pulls out a massive win while VAR finds its way into the World Cup spotlight.
[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]
There will be plenty more to come over the next few weeks, with the show coming via the Men In Blazers.
Click play on the video above to watch the first episode in full.