Fabian Johnson will get his first experience in a camp with the U.S. National Team when he joins the team in California this week, but he will have to wait for his opportunity to play in a match for the United States.
Since Johnson has played in an official competition at the youth international level for Germany – in this case, the 2009 U-21 European Championship - FIFA rules require he apply for a change of association and receive approval before he can represent the United States in a match. The process for Johnson to change associations has begun but there is no set timetable for how long it takes to complete.
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann knew of the requirement, choosing to bring Johnson into camp to give him a taste of the experience of being with the U.S. team.
“I called in Fabian Johnson because I want him to experience what the U.S. National Team is about," said Klinsmann. "He played for the U-21s in Germany and was highly successful, and now he broke into the Hoffenheim team. He's still a kid who is totally developing."
“I said to him: ‘I want you to come in here, not because my main objective is Costa Rica or Belgium, but I want you to come in here and be a part of this group. I want you to see how it is being part of the U.S. team, experience the spirit here and see how people interact with each other.’ It’s different from playing with Germany, and I know both sides. We’ll take it from there.”
Born in Munich, Germany to an American serviceman and a German mother, the 23-year-old holds dual citizenship and can be deployed as either a midfielder or a defender.