Brooks Makes Big-Money Move to Wolfsburg

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER.

By JACK BELL

Defender John Brooks just became the most expensive American soccer player after Wolfsburg of Germany’s Bundesliga confirmed earlier reports that it has acquired Brooks from Hertha Berlin.

Brooks said on Wolfsburg’s website: “The decision to leave my home-town wasn’t an easy one, but having spoken with Olaf Rebbe and Andries Jonker, I really wanted the move to Wolfsburg, because they both quickly convinced me of their plans with VfL. I want to play my part in helping VfL to repeat the success they have enjoyed in recent years.”

Brooks, 24, who is expected to be part of the defensive backbone for the United States national team as it continues to pursue qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, will move from his hometown club Hertha Berlin to Wolfsburg for a reported transfer fee of €17 million (about $19 million). The potential move was reported by Bild and Kicker in Germany.

The transfer figure would eclipse the $13 million Sunderland paid Alkmaar for Jozy Altidore when the American striker went from the Netherlands back to England in 2013. Altidore held the record several years earlier when he was sold by Major League Soccer and the Red Bulls for $7.3 million to Spain’s Villarreal in 2008.

Brooks, the son of an American serviceman father and German woman, grew up in Berlin and has spent his entire professional career in the Hertha system. He has made more than 150 first-team appearances for the club since his debut in 2011.

ESPNFC put together the chart below:

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Brooks was named to Coach Bruce Arena‘s 27-man roster for camp in Colorado with the U.S. national team as it prepares for a friendly against Venezuela on Saturday, and then two World Cup qualifiers (vs. Trinidad and Tobago and at Mexico). He has played 30 times for the U.S., scoring three goals — which includes the game-winner as the U.S. opened the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with a 2-1 win over Ghana.