United States

Brooks reacts to USMNT snub: 'My American identity is at stake!'

03:59 EAT 18/03/2022
John Brooks Wolfsburg 2021-22
The American defender has expressed frustration at missing out on his nation's final World Cup qualifying squad

John Brooks has shared his disappointment at missing out on the United States men's national team's final World Cup qualifying squad.

The Wolfsburg center back says his "American identity is at stake" as he tries to win over head coach Gregg Berhalter.

Brooks, a World Cup veteran, has not featured for the USMNT since last September.

What has been said?

“Months ago, I accepted responsibility for my play and the decision that kept me off a roster," Brooks told Derek Rae. "Now, I’m happy I’ve regained my form but unfortunately, I wasn’t invited to camp.

“I accept this as the coach’s decision, but I won’t accept that I can’t change this before the final World Cup roster selections. There should be no questions about my desire to play for this team. My plan is to fight as hard as I can to make it back to the USMNT.

“My American identity is at stake, an identity some have questioned over many years. We (Americans) have all been down & out at different times, but we always fight back & I plan to do the same.”

Why has Brooks been excluded?

"The reason why is, I've talked to him and, when you look at these windows, and I hate to get detailed about this regarding individual players, but when you look at the window in October, he had an injury," Berhalter said. "November, we weren't happy with his form. In general, we weren't happy with his club form.

"Now he's back playing and now it becomes about what our game plan is for this window. There are some details in his game that I talked to him about that we need to improve to fit into our game model.

"We don't have time on Tuesday to improve these things. The game's on Thursday, the game's on Sunday, there's not a runway here.

"So I think when this whole thing settles down, and hopefully we're in the World Cup and we have the June window, the September window, I think there'll be another opportunity for him where we can really start addressing what we think his deficiencies are to be the starting center back in our pool."

Right now, Walker Zimmerman and Miles Robinson are Berhalter's first-choice central defenders, while Aaron Long, Erik Palmer-Brown and James Sands have also been called into camp.

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