ASN Morning Read: The Man in the Middle

The United States center back gets the profile treatment, and we learn some things about some things; A huge match against Panama draws ever closer; Funny how the days keep going. 
BY Noah Davis Posted
October 04, 2017
8:20 AM
  • Here's a long story about John Brooks: I walk down to the team offices to chat with Olaf Rebbe, Wolfsburg's sporting director. A boyish 40-something in tight jeans and a creamy sweater, he's the man responsible for paying all that money to sign Brooks away from Hertha Berlin.  "We hated him when he was there," Rebbe says. "Now we love him. I think he can be one of the top defenders in Germany, but his way is not ending in Germany. Maybe the next step must be the Premier League. And this amount"—Brooks' next theoretical transfer fee—"it will be much, much higher than we pay now. But I don't want to speak about it. Because first of all, I need him in Wolfsburg!"

  • So you're saying there's a good chance:
  • Really good roundtable from the ESPNFC crew: "I think it is leadership. I think they're missing that guy who can put the team on his back, the two or three veteran guys to get the result. I get that John Brooks has been hurt; that's been key for them, and I think it showed the last two games, when they've been missing that strong center back. I don't think anybody in CONCACAF is scared of the U.S. anymore because of MLS. There are so many players from [the region] that are playing in our league, playing against those guys, playing with those guys, that intimidation and fear factor isn't there anymore."

  • Schalke's Nick Taitague: "I Am Up for the Challenge"

  • Who are you starting against Panama?

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