USMNT's German contingent aiming to topple Messi

When the United States of America take to the pitch to face Lionel Messi's Argentina in Tuesday's Copa America Centenario semi-final, there will be several reasons for Germany to also be proud.

Jürgen Klinsmann's appointment as USA coach five years ago marked a watershed moment in the USMNT's history. The Bundesliga legend and former Germany coach used the quirks of history to bring in players born in his native country and wrap them in the flag of his adopted nation.

bundesliga.com looks at Klinsmann and his trio of players who have made a success of their club and international careers on either side of the Atlantic.

John Anthony Brooks

Born: Berlin

Bundesliga link: Hertha Berlin (current club)

The USA's answer to Jerome Boateng has more in common than just an imposing physique with the Germany centre-back. "Berlin is my city, I grew up here. So Hertha are also my team," Brooks - who joined Hertha aged 14 - once said, but he quickly established the USA would be his country. Though he made a single appearance at youth level for Germany, Brooks simultaneously featured for US junior sides before making his senior debut in 2013.

Did you know? Klinsmann rates his centre-back very highly indeed. "He's the best centre-back at the Copa," the US boss told German media. "He's having an amazing tournament."

Fabian Johnson (l.) is set to win his 49th cap agains Argentina. - © imago

Fabian Johnson

Born: Munich

Bundesliga link: VfL Wolfsburg, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Borussia Mönchengladbach (current club)

The versatile Johnson started his career in his home town, though TSV 1860 Munich - not FC Bayern München - were his first club. He even played alongside the likes of Mesut Özil, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Manuel Neuer and Sami Khedira - all in Germany's UEFA EURO 2016 squad - in winning the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. Yet, that moment and the subsequent 'big' move to VfL Wolfsburg helped shape his international future on the opposite shore of the Atlantic. As he struggled to establish himself at the Volkswagen Arena before Klinsmann came calling in 2011. "I told them that Jurgen wants to invite me in and they said congrats," said Johnson of the moment he told his parents - Charles, a former US soldier, and Sylvia - he could play for the US.

Did you know? Johnson's father played basketball for Bayern München while his maternal grandfather was also American.

Jermaine Jones

Born: Frankfurt

Bundesliga link: Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, FC Schalke 04

Current club: Colorado Rapids

Born in Germany, Jones spent part of his childhood in Chicago and Mississippi before returning to the country of his birth. After making his name in the Bundesliga with Schalke in particular in 165 top-flight games, the tough-tackling, straight-talking midfielder has gone full circle, re-crossing the Atlantic in August 2014 to join New England Revolution before heading to Colorado last March. Jones made three appearances for Germany in 2008 before pledging allegiance to the Stars and Stripes.

Did you know? Former Germany women's team star Steffi Jones is no relation, but her mother was Jermaine's nanny in Frankfurt.

- © gettyimages