John Brooks again has etched his name in United States soccer history.
The U.S. men’s national team defender joined Wolfsburg from fellow Bundesliga (German first division) club Hertha Berlin on Wednesday, the clubs announced on their respective websites. Brooks reportedly cost Wolfsburg €20 million ($22.4 million), making him the most expensive American soccer player in history.
“The decision to leave my hometown wasn’t easy,” Brooks said in a statement on Wolfsburg’s website. “But after talks with (sporting director) Olaf Rebbe and (coach) Andries Jonker I really wanted to switch to Wolfsburg because they were both able to convince me quickly of their plans.”
Brooks, 24, graduated from Hertha Berlin’s youth academy and has been a regular starter with the club since the 2012-13 season. He helped Hertha Berlin finish sixth in the Bundesliga last season and qualify for the 2017-18 UEFA Europa League.
Brooks joins a club that struggled through last season and just narrowly avoided relegation. He arrives carrying high expectations that accompany his large price tag and his growing international reputation — he scored the United States’ game-winning goal against Ghana in their opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and starred last summer in Copa America.
Let’s hope Brooks likes pressure. He’ll endure plenty of it.
Thumbnail photo via Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports Images