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Talking Shawn Parker: Would you be okay with USMNT nabbing the German?

May 5, 2014, 9:44 PM EST

Germany Soccer Bundesliga AP

Quick: name the young German-American hotshot who scored in a Bayern Munich match this season and is eligible to represent the United States.

No, not Julian Green. The other one.

His name is Shawn Parker, and the 21-year-old Mainz forward has had his name mentioned in this space a couple times before, but never at-length. And maybe every other time Green or Gedion Zelalem‘s name is raised, you’ll see Parker’s name.

His name’s been one on my mind for a while now, even if it turns out the October goal against Bayern wasn’t all that special, more of a combination of Munich mistakes.

(Though he can also toe-poke nutmeg a keeper).

This isn’t a case for the 2014 World Cup, at least not from me (it’s a month away). As we pointed out the other day, there are more than a few in-form options for Klinsmann in Brazil.

Parker, unlike Green, has been capped at every single level below the full German national team. We’re talking U15-U21, 25 goals in 46 matches for Germany. He’s also played for Mainz (4 goals in 25 matches) and Mainz II (8 goals in 37 matches).

His father was born in the United States, but Parker only lived in the States for less than a year when he was 12. And get this: Parker is the second-oldest of four gifted Parker kids, with his younger brothers representing Germany at the U-17 and U-13 levels.

Goal.com reported that Jurgen Klinsmann has continued to pursue Parker’s allegiance, but it raises an interesting question for American fans. International soccer is a cutthroat game, but would you be 100 percent on board with Parker jumping ship from Germany after spending a decade of development in their ranks?

The easy answer is, “Yes,” but when you flip the script — imagine Amando Moreno skipped US camp to commit for Mexico or El Salvador, or Paul Arriola headed south to where his club ball is played in Mexico? Sure, these guys have spent the majority of their developmental time in the US system, but the choice would be theirs.

  1. nextmanup81 - May 5, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Until FIFA sets stricter standards on which national team you can play for – for ex. limiting it to your birth country only – players will continue to find the path that works best for them. If we can get them, lets get them. Every other country in the world is doing it too.

  2. mknow406a - May 5, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    As a USMNT fan, Rossi choosing to play for Italy hurt… a LOT! However, the reality is that we now live in a global marketplace. Ultimately, US Soccer is better served by success at the international level. As the USMNT improves, opportunities for US born, and raised, youth will also improve. To insist that the required quantum leap in quality should be achieved exclusively via non-dual nationals, ignores the reality of 1) the world we now live in and 2) the quality of the US development system… and for those that question point 2), answer me this: Other than the MLS, name one league that would consider Omar Gonzales as a “DP” quality player? That is intended as a slam on the MLS, However, if we refuse to acknowledge where the US system falls short, we can never hope to see it improve.

    • mknow406a - May 5, 2014 at 11:19 PM

      LOL. Should have been “not a slam on the MLS.”

  3. urallstupid - May 6, 2014 at 12:42 AM

    hey why stop at soccer? if a person was born in canada, raised in canada, lets not let this person get a job outside of canada. i mean the country provided this person with everything right? what is this a slave system we live in?

    • mknow406a - May 7, 2014 at 12:01 AM

      two words… Owen Hargreaves. Born and raised in Canada until picked up by Bayern Munich. His grandparents were British, so he played for England…

  4. dfstell - May 6, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    It just shows how nationality is becoming a fuzzier concept. People move around. Companies are international.

    I’m not opposed to the idea of international competition. It is kinda cool and I don’t even mind the jingoistic stuff that comes with seeing whether the Country A or Country B has better athletes and better systems. But we don’t live in a world where people are only one thing….people are many things and international competition has to reflect that.

  5. talgrath - May 6, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    Do you want the USMNT to win, or do you want to feel warm and fuzzy about it? Because the warm and fuzzy route is where you get “great stories” about a team that “tried their best” and “got a moral victory”, personally I’ve seen enough of those stories over the course of my USMNT fandom. Pull talent from wherever it is available, scour the globe and pluck people who have an interest in playing for the USMNT with talent, be greedy, be aggressive. The USMNT won’t improve if all it pulls from is talent within easy reach that doesn’t require effort to acquire and develop.

  6. therealehboy - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    We HAVE lost players before, and good ones: Nevan Subotic, Giuseppe Rossi, Andy Najar… This is how it’s played. I’ll take Shawn Parker and anyone else who qualifies.

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