U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann has more dual nationals on radar
PRAGUE -- U.S. men's national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann is taking a patient approach when it comes to his latest recruiting push.
During the last World Cup cycle, Klinsmann was able to convince several dual nationals to suit up for the U.S., including World Cup participants Fabian Johnson, John Brooks, and Julian Green. Both Brooks and Green scored goals for the U.S. in Brazil.
Now a new World Cup cycle is ready to begin, and Klinsmann already has his sights set on several players. The list includes brothers Shawn and Devante Parker, who play for Augsburg and Mainz, respectively, and hold both German and U.S. citizenship.
"We are on all these kids, but in a very relaxed way," Klinsmann told reporters ahead of Wednesday's friendly against the Czech Republic. "First and foremost, they need to do it for the right reasons. If Shawn Parker decides one day to play for the U.S., or his younger brother Devante -- which are both very, very talented -- then they have to do it on their time schedule, for the right reasons, and we not putting anybody under pressure there."
Arsenal prospect Gedion Zelalem is another target. Zelalem, who holds German and Ethiopian citizenship, still needs to acquire a U.S. passport, though this is possible through the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 if his father, Zelalem Woldyes, becomes a U.S. citizen prior to his son's 18th birthday.
"With Gedion, it's a family process that is there," said Klinsmann. "He's not in possession of an American passport. If he gets one, that's step one. Step two is then talking soccer with him and his family, and he needs to feel comfortable with him and his family. There, again, we started the process very early, and also we are in touch with him but in a very relaxed way."
Klinsmann emphasized that every situation is different, and there is no timetable for when the aforementioned players have to make their decision. Green was 18 at the time of his decision, but Klinsmann recalled how Green was "very strong in his decision" so the process was sped up. There are other candidates on the radar as well.
Klinsmann added, "Have we identified all those kids in England or Germany or Argentina or wherever? Yes. Are we in contact with them? Yes. We are not bringing it up to the surface until they make that call. We want them to make that call, whenever they feel they are happy to do that, they are mature enough to do that. But we are not pushing it. They have to do it for the right reasons. This process continues."