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Ives Galarcep

Dual national prospects for the USA’s future

Tags: Sony Handycam ®, USA

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One of the stories of the 2014 World Cup for the U.S. National Team was the many dual-nationals who helped fill out Jurgen Klinsmann’s roster, and many of them enjoyed strong performances in Brazil.

As we put an eye toward the next World Cup cycle, which includes the 2015 Gold Cup, 2016 Olympics and 2016 Copa America, it is time to start looking at the next crop of dual nationals Klinsmann will try to convince to play for the United States.

Some players need more convincing than others, while some still need citizenship to become officially eligible to play for the U.S. Then you have the players who are already receiving interesting from other national team programs.

So who are some of the top prospects out there with eligibility for multiple countries, including the USA? Here is a rundown:

GEDION ZELALEM

The Arsenal youngster is being courted by Germany, but rumors persist that Klinsmann is in hot pursuit and Zelalem is in the process of securing an American passport. Considered a top midfield prospect with impressive skill, Zelalem could be a key factor in the 2016 Olympic set up if he chose to play for the Americans.

DARLINGTON NAGBE

The Liberian-born Portland Timbers star is one of the more exciting players in MLS, but is not yet eligible to play for the United States. Having married an American a year ago, Nagbe is moving closer to being eligible, and once he is, he will absolutely be in contention for a 2018 World Cup spot.

DIEGO FAGUNDEZ

The Uruguayan-born New England Revolution star set an MLS record last year for goals by a teenager and he has the technical quality to make an impact on the international level. The only problem is he still doesn’t have American citizenship, and continues to play coy on a national team preference. If Uruguay comes calling, it could be tough for Fagundez to say no, but that call hasn’t come yet.

SHAWN PARKER

The 21-year-old German-American striker has been a fixture in the German youth national team set up, but has expressed an open mind toward potentially playing for the USA one day. Having recently signed with Bundesliga side Augsburg, Parker is an intriguing forward prospect Klinsmann is reportedly courting. He is age-eligible for the next Olympic cycle, and will have some time to make a decision.

ALFREDO MORALES

Another German-American, Morales has multiple national team options. He has been in U.S. camp before, and is familiar with the set up, but has not been cap-tied yet. The versatile youngster can play right back or defensive midfield, and is currently plying his trade in Bundesliga II with FC Ingolstadt.

AMOBI OKUGO

A long-time U.S. national team fixture and member of the U.S. under-23 national team that failed to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, Okugo has put together a solid career in MLS, mainly as a central defender, though he seems to have a better future as a defensive midfielder. He is eligible to play for Nigeria due to the fact he has not been cap-tied to the United States.

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