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Explained: Why former World Cup defender John Brooks is not part of USMNT squad for 2023 Gold Cup

John Brooks Hoffenheim 2022-23Getty
  • Bid for silverware about to be opened
  • U.S. are reigning champions
  • Experienced defender overlooked

WHAT HAPPENED? The USMNT are due to open the defence of their continental crown against Jamaica on June 24, with a roster that blends youth and experience pieced together ahead of that tournament. Berlin-born defender Brooks, who figured for the U.S. at the 2014 World Cup, has not been selected despite many putting him in contention for a call-up on the back of a January transfer from Benfica to Hoffenheim that has allowed him to see regular game time at club level.

WHAT THEY SAID: Discussing his decision not to select Brooks, Callaghan told “We had a number of good conversations with John. As a starting point, he reiterated his commitment to the national team programme and how much it means to him. He is coming off a season at Hoffenheim where he was a key member of their fight to avoid relegation. This summer he will have the chance to participate in a full pre-season with them for the first time, so we felt in this particular moment it’s best for him to take advantage of that opportunity and be performing at his highest level in the upcoming season to position himself to contribute to the national team in the future.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Brooks has earned 45 senior caps for the United States, having made his debut back in 2013, and has also represented Hertha Berlin and Wolfsburg during the course of his club career.

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John Brooks USMNT United StatesGetty

John Brooks UMSNT 2014 World CupGetty Images

WHAT NEXT? The USMNT are also set to face Trinidad & Tobago in the group stage of the 2023 Gold Cup, which is being hosted by America and Canada, while they are yet to discover who their third opponents will be as the qualification process has not been completed.