Quick: name the young German-American hotshot who scored in a Bayern Munich match this season and is eligible to represent the United States.
No, not Julian Green. The other one.
His name is Shawn Parker, and the 21-year-old Mainz forward has had his name mentioned in this space a couple times before, but never at-length. And maybe every other time Green or Gedion Zelalem’s name is raised, you’ll see Parker’s name.
His name’s been one on my mind for a while now, even if it turns out the October goal against Bayern wasn’t all that special, more of a combination of Munich mistakes.
(Though he can also toe-poke nutmeg a keeper).
This isn’t a case for the 2014 World Cup, at least not from me (it’s a month away). As we pointed out the other day, there are more than a few in-form options for Klinsmann in Brazil.
Parker, unlike Green, has been capped at every single level below the full German national team. We’re talking U15-U21, 25 goals in 46 matches for Germany. He’s also played for Mainz (4 goals in 25 matches) and Mainz II (8 goals in 37 matches).
His father was born in the United States, but Parker only lived in the States for less than a year when he was 12. And get this: Parker is the second-oldest of four gifted Parker kids, with his younger brothers representing Germany at the U-17 and U-13 levels.
Goal.com reported that Jurgen Klinsmann has continued to pursue Parker’s allegiance, but it raises an interesting question for American fans. International soccer is a cutthroat game, but would you be 100 percent on board with Parker jumping ship from Germany after spending a decade of development in their ranks?
The easy answer is, “Yes,” but when you flip the script — imagine Amando Moreno skipped US camp to commit for Mexico or El Salvador, or Paul Arriola headed south to where his club ball is played in Mexico? Sure, these guys have spent the majority of their developmental time in the US system, but the choice would be theirs.