HINES OPEN TO US SWITCH
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BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, March 16, 2012
Jurgen Klinsmann may soon have another central defender in his player pool as Middlesbrough central defender Seb Hines indicates he would be willing to play for the United States

Hines, 23, returned from an ankle injury during the second half of the season and has earned very positive reviews for his recent play. The club now sits in fourth place in the English Championship and is in the hunt for promotion to the Premier League.

Hines' professional debut came in the Premier League with Middlesbroughin 2007 and he has been with the club since he was only 14. He now is looking to bring the club back to the top division.

"It's everyone's dream when they're a kid to play at the top level," Hines told YA. "The Premier League is the highest level and I'd love to play there against the best players in the world. Hopefully we can get there this season."

"Last year was disappointing but this year we've done really well," he added. "We've got a young side and we're all eager to win and bring success to Middleborough again."

As a young player, Hines was a standout with English youth national teams at both the U-16, U-17, and U-19 levels. He played in European qualifiers at those age groups but injuries prevented him from playing in the finals.

Hines has suffered multiple injuries in his past but with him now fully fit, he is eager to return not just to the Premier League but to the international game as well. Only this time it could be with the United States.

Hines has had an American passport since birth by virtue of his father. His father is from North Carolina but served in the United States military. While stationed in Germany he met Seb's mother, who is from England, on a trip to Spain.

Hines was born in England but lived in the United States for two years when he was a young child. He later returned to England.

Hines is still very much in contact with his American family in North Carolina and he cites his father as a huge influence on his career.

"We go back to North Carolina during the offseason every year to see family," Hines said. "We are planning to go back this summer because all of my father's family lives there. My father is the only one currently in England."

Hines has never heard from US Soccer but he is very much open to playing for the US national team in the future if he is invited by Jurgen Klinsmann. Such a move would require him to file his one-time switch with FIFA and Hines says that he is willing to do that.

"Obviously it would be amazing to be a part of the setup for the United States," Hines stated emphatically. "I watched them against Italy and they were terrific. We have a lot of American players that are here in England as well like Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey."

Hines' agent Matthew Southall also stressed that his client is eager to play if asked.

"We have not had contact with US Soccer yet," Southall said. "But Seb is very willing to play for the United States if asked."

Hines and Middlesbrough visit Birmingham City this weekend.
Jose
Monday March 19, 2012 7:57 am
To the other Jose, so you call John McCain a foreign politician?
Jose
Monday March 19, 2012 7:47 am
Well, if you have American passports, you have the same rights as any american citizen, the so called "foreign players" are sons of Military service men that are protecting our country for you and i to live free and mantain our way of living, may be they have more rights than you and me, lets pick the best players
ICEMANofALFRED
Sunday March 18, 2012 11:51 am
There is a simple but underlining fact here when it comes to the NATS... we have got to start pushing out the older players and replacing them with younger professionals. Now way too much is being made of where these players are coming from, but the clear fact is that the bulk of players who are trying to make a name for themselves in MLS are starting much later than their mostly European based competition. This young man is 23 years old and has FIVE seasons in as a Professional... most of the MLS based guys are being drafted out of collegiate programs and simply are years behind the competition, especially at the International level... to change this situation either MLS must stop depending so heavily on drafting 22 year old rookies and instead behave much more like any other professional league and do more to "grow" their own... but that very likely will require the League to cease their "Single Entity" status and allow their individual sides to have directly far more say in signing and "owning" a player's contract... change this fact and you very likely will see more players coming from MLS being seriously considered for the NATION team.
(ICE)
Newminicano
Sunday March 18, 2012 5:21 am
Jose, you are wrong they are Americans according to the FIFA rules and if any country can pull off fielding a so-called "foreign" team its the USA a nation of immigrants. I just want USA to assemble the best possible team it can
Alex
Sunday March 18, 2012 3:28 am
They should keep tabs on Sebastian Velasquez
twr96
Sunday March 18, 2012 2:55 am
I would like to see Le Toux and whitbread get a chance at the usmnt. If klinsmann is worried about altidore's playing time which he is so getting back try Le Toux
Jared
Saturday March 17, 2012 8:55 pm
2tone, There were more than three players: Morales, Mix, Corona played overseas through their entire career. Jeffery and Gyau were not developed by the MLS or USSF, also you can't be positive of when the development process happened for Corona, Jeffery, or Gyau...they could have been picked up off natural ability and then developed overseas, not every player develops from 8-15, some take a little longer. Either way, the MLS did have a good number in there but a few of those came from Akron also with Porter which helps.
ajb123
Saturday March 17, 2012 7:49 pm
This debate always seems funny to me. Remember who won the 1998 World Cup? A French team made up of mostly "foreign nationals". At least FIFA ties a player to a country by citizenship unlike the Olympics where athletes can switch countries for any reason. I just want the best US team possible under the current rules.
Jose
Saturday March 17, 2012 6:40 pm
this is one thing i am not liking what klinsmann is doing, bringing in too many foreign raised players with american passports. its ok to have 2 or 3 the most but to have more and more coming like whats happening now just supposedly says that here in the US there is not enough talent and having to look elsewhere which is wrong ,because i believe that the US does not have to rely too much on foreign players and it doesnt matter if they have US passports they are still foreign players who dont know much about the US.
2tone
Saturday March 17, 2012 12:31 pm
- JOhn
It's called dual nationals buddy. Most countries have dual nationals in their squads it's not just the U.S. I have no problems with dual nationals wanting to play for the U.S. Oh and just to let you know The U-23 squad that beat Mexico's U-23 squad was mainly made up of MLS players. Therfore it seems MLS and USSF are doing a fairly decent job in developing home grown players. Corona, Diskerud, Morales were basically the only starting players to be developed in a foreign country, and Gyau developed here in the states and in Germany. Actually Corona developed in the states as well.
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