Friday, October 24, 2008

FIFA: Subotic Can't Play For Germany

Borussia Dortmund's 19 year-old Yugoslavian-born American defender Neven Subotic has been ruled ineligible to play for Germany by FIFA. German coach Joachim Loew took interest in Subotic after his explosion onto the Bundesliga scene this fall in a series of outstanding performances for BVB. So, instead of trying to grab another player through naturalization, Germany will need to look elsewhere for a new central defender.

The basis of the decision is that in 2005, Subotic had played in a U-17 match for the USA. So, after first participating in an international competition, he is ineligible to play only for countries of which he was already a citizen; Serbia or the USA (or possibly Bosnia). Once he plays in a full international match for one of these three countries, he is only eligible to play for them for the rest of his career.

So, will Subotic decide to line up alongside Oguchi Onyewu in central defense for the Stars and Stripes who appear to be cruising toward World Cup Qualification? Will Bob Bradley call him in for the USA's next World Cup qualifier against Guatemala on November 19th?

Or, will he decide to cast his lot with the White Eagles, currently in a 4-way tie for second in a tough qualifying group which includes France, Romania, Austria, and current group leader Lithuania? We may find out soon if coach Radomir Antic calls him in for the November 19th friendly against Bulgaria.

Or, will he spurn both and suit up for Bosnia-Herzegovina, currently third in their qualifying group behind Turkey and Belgium? Whichever team he plays for, Subotic has proven that he can be an impact player right away.

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