German-born Timothy Chandler (l.) and John Brooks (r.) boast 52 USMNT caps between them.
German-born Timothy Chandler (l.) and John Brooks (r.) boast 52 USMNT caps between them.

The Bundesliga-infused USMNT on German-American Day

It is German-American day in the United States, and, as the USMNT prepare to take on Cuba and then New Zealand over the international break, runs the rule over the German DNA that shapes the current Stars and Stripes team.

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

John 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 ahead of this summer’s competition, in which the US finished fourth. "I guess all of Europe is watching."

Watch: John Anthony Brooks in his own words:

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 current Germany stars Boateng, Mesut Özil, Mats Hummels, Manuel Neuer and Sami Khedira 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. He struggled to establish himself at the Volkswagen Arena, but 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.

Watch: Fabian Johnson's Top 5 Bundesliga goals:

Julian Green

Born: Tampa, Florida

Bundesliga link: Hamburger SV, FC Bayern München (current club)

Born in the US to an American father and German mother, Green moved to Germany with his mother at the age of two and was snapped up by Bayern aged 15 after impressing in Bavarian youth football. The 21-year-old - who spent 2015/15 on loan at Hamburg - bounced between the German and American youth set-ups before pledging his allegiance to the USA in 2014. Not yet a first-team regular with his club, Green still plundered a hat-trick in Bayern’s 4-1 win over FC Internazionale Milano in pre-season, impressing coach Carlo Ancelotti. "He played well, really well, " said the Italian tactician. "It was a really good performance... He will have the opportunity to start and to play [this season]."

Did you know? Green’s goal for the USMNT against Belgium in the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup – scored less than two minutes into his debut – made the then 19-year-old the youngest scorer at a World Cup since Argentina’s Lionel Messi in 2006.

Watch: Julian Green's hat-trick for Bayern against Inter:

Timothy Chandler

Born: Frankfurt

Bundesliga link: 1. FC Nürnberg, Eintracht Frankfurt (current club)

Powerful defender Chandler joined Eintracht in 2001 at the age of 11 before leaving for Nürnberg in pursuit of first-team football in 2010. A respectable 10th-place finish in 2011/12 and an international call-up in March of that year followed before he was reunited with Die Adler in 2014. Nominally a right-back, Chandler is - like international colleague Johnson - content to play in a number of positions. "I can play right, in the middle and on the left, as is sometimes the case with the national team," he says. "Maybe it is an advantage for me..."

Did you know? Previously called up to the Germany U-17 squad, Chandler was initially reluctant to commit to the USMNT before changing his mind. "This was about me being ready to accept the responsibility of being a part of the national team and everything that goes with it, and now I am ready. I am in 1,000 percent."