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Timothy Tillman being wooed by U.S. U20 boss Tab Ramos

United States Under-20 coach Tab Ramos is hoping to convince highly regarded Bayern Munich prospect Timothy Tillman to represent the U.S. at international level.

The 18-year-old winger was born in Germany but qualifies for dual citizenship through his American father. He's played for Germany at the youth level, turning down an invite from Ramos and the U.S. last year after initially accepting the offer.

"We even had his tickets and everything," Ramos told "He was all set and ready to go, but he decided at the last moment that he would accept a call from Germany."

Still, Ramos, who later this month will try to qualify his team for the FIFA U20 World Cup in South Korea this spring, remains optimistic that Tillman -- who recently received interest from Barcelona -- will eventually choose the U.S.

Timothy Tillman
Timothy Tillman has featured for the Germany youth sides.

Malik Tillman, Timothy's younger brother, has played for the U.S. U15s.

"I think the door is still open," Ramos said. "We've been trying."

The U.S. has a long history of fielding players with strong ties to Germany. Thomas Dooley appeared in two World Cups for the U.S., captaining the squad in France in 1998.

At Brazil 2014, German-Americans John Brooks, Jermaine Jones and Julian Green all scored, with Timmy Chandler and Fabian Johnson also on the 23-man roster. Brooks, Green, Johnson and Jones had donned Germany's famous white shirt at various levels before later switching allegiances.

Ramos' side is currently training in Florida ahead of the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in Costa Rica. The Americans will kick off that tournament, which will determine which teams advance to South Korea, on Feb. 18 against Panama.

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @DougMacESPN.


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