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USMNT’s John Brooks Signs One-year Contract With S.L. Benfica – NBC Los Angeles

John Brooks finally has a new home. 

The 29-year-old center-back signed a one-year deal with Portuguese side S.L. Benfica of the Premeira Liga, the club announced on Thursday.

According to the club, the contract will only be valid until next summer, keeping Brooks in Benfica’s red and white kits for at least one season. 

Brooks, who has 45 caps with the U.S. men’s national team since debuting in 2013, was a free agent for a few months after his contract with Bundesliga’s VfL Wolfsburg ran down. He was with the team since 2017 and logged 126 league appearances, but both sides moved on for the 2022-23 campaign. 

It was vital for Brooks to find a new team as soon as possible with the 2022 FIFA World Cup approaching in November. Brooks currently has fallen out of head coach Gregg Berhalter’s plan as a left center-back, but a promising showing in Portugal until then may persuade Berhalter to change his mind. 

Berhalter is slated to announce the USMNT’s World Cup roster on Nov. 9. Brooks made the squad in 2014 where he scored an iconic header against Ghana in the opening group stage game, but the country failed to qualify for the 2018 tournament. 

Benfica currently has won all four of its games to start the new campaign, so it’ll be interesting to see how manager Roger Schmidt utilizes Brooks. 

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