Have you noticed Americans love to complain about the lack of excitement in soccer? Yep, me too.  This week during the first round of the World Cup one young man on the U.S. Men’s National Team changed many folks’ perceptions.

Substitute John Brooks, 21, scored the game-winning goal with a header in the 86th minute. It was not only serious payback to Ghana who beat the U.S. in the last two World Cups, but it’s earning the sport new fans and keeping an American World Cup dream alive.

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So who is this new American hero? Here are five fun facts about John Brooks.

5. He’s Never Lived In The U.S.

Say what? John Brooks was born and raised in Berlin, Germany. He grew up with this mother. His father is an American Military serviceman who was stationed there. So, yes, he is a U.S. Citizen.

4. He’s Got Telltale Tattoos 


In case you’re doubtful which country he truly has an allegiance to, well, he wears the answer on his sleeve, er, elbow.  Brooks sports a tat of Berlin on his left elbow and Illinois – his dad hails from Chicago – on his right elbow.

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3. He’s Bilingual

Brooks, who’s one of five German-born Americans on the team, speaks both German and English fluently and displays his linguistic skills with aplomb switching between both languages on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

2. He’s A Dog Lover

Brooks has a French Bulldog named Cash.  And thanks to the aforementioned Instagram account you can check him out for yourself.

1. He’s A Record setter

(Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Brooks wasn’t initially in the lineup.  The defender was called in to replace Matt Bresler who was complaining of pain in his hamstring.  Brooks’ goal makes him the first substitute to score in U.S. team history. And that’s one for the record books.

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