John Brooks close to sealing United States spot - Jurgen Klinsmann
United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann says John Brooks is close to cementing his place in his starting XI and urged him to prove his worth in Wednesday's friendly with Germany.
Hertha Berlin centre-back Brooks, who was born in the German capital, has enjoyed a promising season with his hometown club and is now establishing himself at international level.
Kicker this week published a long article entitled "Berlin's next Boateng?" that asks whether Brooks could follow in the footsteps of Bayern Munich and Germany defender Jerome Boateng, who also came through the Hertha ranks.
Klinsmann told the German football magazine: "John is in the act of winning a permanent place in the starting formation."
Klinsmann said the 22-year-old, who scored in Friday's 4-3 friendly victory over Netherlands, could "give direction" to his prospects of securing his place during the current international fixtures.
"He's made a huge step, also in his personality development," added Klinsmann, who won the 1990 World Cup and Euro '96 as a player with Germany.
Brooks, who scored his first international goal at last summer's World Cup, struggled to produce his best form for Hertha at the start of the season before eventually recovering.
The defender, who has previously been accused of appearing apathetic, won 68 percent of his direct duels in a total of 27 games for the club, ranking third best among Bundesliga players making at least 17 appearances this season.
Hertha sporting director Michael Preetz also praised his youngster, saying "he has everything it takes" to become a star player.