BRADENTON, Fla. — U.S. national team fans could use some good news on the dual-national front following Jonathan Gonzalez's decision to play for Mexico, and it appears set to come from a German-American.
U.S. Under-20 national team coach Tab Ramos has confirmed to Goal that Bayern Munich prospect Timothy Tillman is ready to join up with the U.S. U-20 team for a training camp in March.
"He would have been with us here (in Florida at U.S. Soccer's youth summit camp) but he was injured," Ramos said. "He told me he's ready to go and ready to join us and I'm excited to have him in the group because we haven't had him in before."
Tillman made headlines a year ago when he was reportedly the subject of an attempted swoop by Barcelona. The son of a German-American serviceman, Tillman has a U.S. passport, and has represented Germany on the youth level with teams ranging from the U-15 to U-19 ranks.
Tillman most recently played for Germany in U-19 Euro qualifying in October, making appearances against Belarus and Poland. Due to those appearances, Twillman would have to file a change of association with FIFA in order to play for the U.S. in any match. A change of association would tie him to the U.S. permanently.
It remains unclear whether Tillman has submitted paperwork to file a change of association. Tillman could attend the U.S. U-20 camp in March without filing a change of association, but he would be prevented from appearing in any matches without filling a one-time switch.
Eligible for the 2019 U-20 World Cup cycle, the 19-year-old is an 6-foot right winger who would provide competition in an attack already set to feature the likes of Nick Taitague, Jonathan Amon, Timothy Weah and Ayo Akinola.
If Tillman eventually switches from the German setup to the U.S., he wouldn't be the first player with American eligibility to do so. Fabian Johnson was a regular on the German U-21 national team, which won a European championship, before eventually choosing to play for the U.S.
Jermaine Jones played for Germany's senior team in a handful of friendlies before also making the switch. Johnson and Jones went on to play for the U.S. in the 2014 World Cup.
Tillman's younger brother Malik, 15, has played in the U.S. youth national team setup. A Bayern Munich youth player like his brother, Malik played for the U.S. U-15 national team at a friendly tournament in Croatia in 2016.
A pair of Bayern Munich academy players took part in the recent U.S. youth soccer summit, with Justin Butler and Jalen Hawkins playing with the U.S. U-18 team.