As a center back, John Brooks isn't judged on his ability to score goals, and his World Cup hopes hinge more on his ability to prevent his opponents from scoring more than they do on his penchant for putting the ball in the back of the net. That said, accomplishing both in one day makes for a solid shift at the office with Jurgen Klinsmann's pre-World Cup camp roster announcement less than three weeks away.
Brooks, the 21-year-old German-American who is still vying for a place in Brazil despite struggling in his opportunity to start the USA's 2-0 loss to Ukraine on March 5, scored his first goal since Hertha Berlin's season opener -- which coupled as his Bundesliga debut -- on Saturday. He also helped his side keep a clean sheet in a 2-0 victory over Eintracht Braunschweig.
Brooks, who has re-established his place in Hertha's starting lineup in the last month, broke a scoreless deadlock in the 61st minute, firing home from close range with his left foot after a failed goalkeeper punch following a corner kick from Alex Baumjohann. Hertha's fate is secure in the Bundesliga, as it is slated for a mid-table finish and cannot qualify for Europe, nor can it be relegated with two games left in the season.