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USA can use Germany’s success to inspire World Cup winners of their own

USA can use Germany’s success to inspire World Cup winners of their own

Posted by Juan Gavasa on July 18, 2014

In the 2009 Uefa U21 European Championship hosted in Sweden, Germany met England in the semi-finals, beating them comfortably 4-0.

On that day six eventual World Cup winners started the game including Manuel Neuer in goals and Mesut Ozil in attack.

However, seven of those players started a World Cup game this summer. The seventh; America’s Fabian Johnson, who had played with Germany all the way through his youth career while forging a modest career in the Bundesliga with 1860 Munich and, at that time, Wolfsburg.

In August 2011, USA’s new head coach Jurgen Klinsmann called Fabian up to the national side. On November 11 he made his senior international debut against France in a 1-0 loss.

If the then Hoffenheim player had kept his allegiance to Germany, the country he was born and reared, he would most likely have been one of the 2009 players who wouldn’t have been collecting a World Cup medal five years later. Instead, he played a major role in the World Cup campaign which will energize football in the United States and take it further than it has gone before.

The American World Cup squad included a number of German-based football players, including some who had played youth international football for Germany, while all had played their entire careers in the German leagues.

Each nation had a hugely successful tournament. It goes without saying for Germany, of course, but the USA – with so many links to the German team itself, not least it’s head coach – had a tournament which put football on a huge pedestal in its country, occupying news space ahead of even its most famous athlete LeBron James.

The USA will see this summer as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Their domestic league is improving and is beginning to attract big players from Europe, albeit ones who are approaching the ends of their careers.

But if they can take anything from Germany’s success, which birthed in the early 2000s when German football authorities introduced a revised youth system which would nurture and grow young footballers – including those who now play for the USA – is that with time, commitment and an investment in football then the USA’s potential on the world stage knows no bounds.

Of course their league is unlikely to reach the heights of the Premier League and La Liga, and will maybe never attract world class players in their prime, but on an international front the USA can show the world that it is not all basketball and baseball – that they do have talented and potentially world class players.

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