The players each received their first call-up for World Cup qualifiers Thursday, and appear to have bright futures with the U.S. national team.The only real surprise in Jurgen Klinsmann including Aron Johannsson and John Anthony Brooks on the latest U.S. national team roster was just how unsurprising it really was.
For a team in the middle of its World Cup qualifying campaign, and facing arguably the two toughest opponents in its group, it would normally raise a few eyebrows to bring a 20-year-old and 22-year-old with two caps and zero Hexagonal appearances between them.
But Brooks and Johannsson's inclusion for Costa Rica and Mexico wasn't a shock; it was expected, which speaks to just how rapidly the dual-nationals have progressed in the last year.
Both players have become regulars at their respective club sides: Brooks with Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga and Johannsson with AZ in the Netherlands. And both made their international debuts in a friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina earlier this month.
Though the players have been capped by Iceland and Germany at the youth level, both are set for a future with the USA. Johannsson is already tied to the U.S. after filing a one-time switch with FIFA, while Brooks is just one non-friendly appearance away from being cap-tied after turning down a Germany U-21 call-up this month.
Speaking on a conference call, Klinsmann hailed the development of both players.
"The impression I got from John Brooks in Bosnia, but not only in Bosnia, over the last one and a half years of observing him, watching him, visiting him and all that stuff, we get the feeling that there is a very, very special player coming through the ranks," Klinsmann said.
Klinsmann added that Brooks was added to the roster over the experienced Clarence Goodson because of the presence of Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler at center back. The German referred to the trio as "experienced," despite only having 41 caps among them.
Johannsson was also selected ahead of a San Jose Earthquake, Chris Wondolowski.
"He's unpredictable, he's confident, he's reading the game really well ahead," Klinsmann said of Johannsson.
"I think what he showed in that half-an-hour (against Bosnia) is that he has a lot of special tools in his game. So therefore we want to move forward with him, we want to kind of make him a real part of this roster, make him comfortable and make him grow with the U.S. team."
As both players grow with the U.S., it appears that with strong performances in the team's remaining Hexagonal matches, they have every chance to be on the plane to Brazil next summer.