The United States Soccer Federation is reportedly trying to lure Bayern Munich’s Malik Tillman to come over and play for the stars and stripes. Tillman, 19, has previously represented the US at the U-15 level but currently plays for Germany at the U-21 level.
There would certainly be an easier path to a starting role for the USMNT if he does make the switch, but flying back and forth to the USA for every training camp and international break to play friendlies against CONCACAF nations might not be all that appealing for a young footballer trying to make his way as a regular in the Bundesliga. He is also not the first Tillman the US have tried to convince to switch. Malik’s brother Timothy turned down the chance to move away from the DFB despite not ever making above the German U-19 level.
Perhaps the Tillman brothers just don’t feel all that strong a connection to their father’s homeland and would rather represent the country of their birth. Or perhaps Malik will be swayed by the potential marketing opportunities of being a bigger fish in a small (but growing) pond of soccer talent to emerge in the USA. He certainly wouldn’t be the first German/American dual national to make the switch to play for the Yanks, but he might be the most prestigious. Currently, Tillman is representing himself quite well so far for Bayern making six appearances across Bundesliga and Champions League competitions.