- Congressman: McAuliffe victory means gun control a winning message
- Clinton aide admits soliciting disgraced D.C. fundraiser; says actions were legal
- Joel Osteen church victimized in $600K theft
- Obama goes shopping at Gap as minimum-wage thanks
- N.J. woman charged after client dies from black-market butt injections
- CIA chief Brennan ‘determined’ to speak out more this year
- Reset? What reset? U.S.-Russia ties at worst since Cold War
- 9/11 terror recruiter released in Syrian prisoner swap
- D.C. elections board gives green light to marijuana legalization initiative
- Elephants can tell difference between human languages: study
Fabian Johnson set for US debut
On Friday, the 23-year-old midfielder could make his debut for the U.S. national team in an exhibition game at France.
Since taking over, Klinsmann has added three German-Americans to the player pool. Midfielder Danny Williams, Johnson’s Hoffenheim teammate, made his debut against Honduras last month just eight days after acquiring a U.S. passport. Hertha Berlin defender Alfredo Morales, like Johnson, could make his first U.S. appearance Friday night at Stade de France outside Paris.
“Fabian is interesting,” Klinsmann said. “He has a special vision. He can play a killer ball, which is rare. He’s a player who can do most everything on the ball. I see him as a connecting forward, but he has the ability to help on the right side of midfield or in the back, which is a nice thing to have.”
Johnson grew up in Munich, the son of an American born in Michigan who joined the U.S. military and moved to Germany. He joined the youth program of 1860 Munich when he was about nine and made his debut for the senior team five years ago, after it was relegated to the second division.
He transferred to Wolfsburg in 2009, shortly after the club’s first Bundesliga title, but made just six starts and 12 substitute appearances over two seasons and moved on last offseason to Hoffenheim, the club backed financially by software billionaire Dietmar Hopp.
Johnson already has played in 10 matches for his new club under new coach Holger Stanislawski despite missing six weeks because of a back injury. Even before the start of the Bundesliga season, Stanislawski had told Johnson to expect a call from Klinsmann.
FIFA allows players to switch countries as long as they have not played an official match for the senior national team, such as the World Cup, the European Championship, the CONCACAF Gold Cup or qualifiers.
But while Johnson trained with the American team for a week in late August and early September, he couldn’t play in the games against Costa Rica and Belgium because FIFA had not yet approved his change. Then he missed the October matches against Honduras and Ecuador because of the back problem.
Before attending the U.S. training camp at Carson, Calif., his only trips to the U.S. had been for vacation. He mentioned that he enjoyed a holiday in New York.
Even before the new additions, several of the American players spoke German. Steve Cherundolo, a right back from California, is Hannover’s captain.
An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
- David Jolly wins in Florida, GOP keeps swing district seat
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- House Democrats trying to force unemployment insurance vote
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Redskins bypass big splash - for now - as free agency period begins
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CARNES: Kissinger's flawed and offensive analysis of Ukraine
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again