The upcoming matchup between Germany and the United States is big for about 380 million people. But for 6 out of those 380 million, this will probably be the most important game they will ever play in. No it’s not because this game could be the difference between advancing into the next round or going home early, but because there are 6 people on the American team that are of German heritage.

[A quick precursor for anyone who doesn’t know what the rules are when it comes to playing for two countries. A player can switch countries at any time (if of course he has a passport) as long as he does not make an appearance for the senior international squad. An example being, if I have an American and German passport, I can make 2,000 appearances for the US youth team and end up playing in the World Cup for Germany, as long as I never set foot on a pitch with the senior US squad in any game, friendly or non-friendly.]

We will start with the coach of the US, Jurgen Klinsmann. “Klinsi” as he is referred to by many throughout the soccer world was born and raised in Germany, won a World Cup for Germany, and even coached the national team in Germany. Despite not being an American citizen, Klinsmann is about as American as you and I, as he has decided to make southern California his home for the last ten years raising his family there in the process.

So here is a quick introduction so you can get to know all the German-American players on the US roster.

Jermaine Jones, the star who scored the screamer against Portugal, was born and raised in Frankfurt and even played for the German U-21 team before deciding to play for the US. He even spent the majority of his career playing in the Bundesliga, most notably for Schalke 04 over the span of 8 years.

Jurgen Klinsmann and Jermaine Jones German born player for the United States Men's National team, Jermaine Jones, was selected by Jurgen Klinsmann to play for team USA after being let go by Germany Reuters

Fabian Johnson, who was arguably America’s best player against Portugal, was born and raised in the Bavarian capital of Munich. Johnson became a regular for the German youth teams as he donned the German shirt for the U17’s all the way up to the U-21’s before switching to the American team two years ago. He currently also plays in the Bundesliga, where he just moved from 1899 Hoffenheim to Borrusia Moenchengladbach.

Timothy Chandler has not featured in the US squad as much as the latter two, was also born in Frankfurt. He never featured for any of the German or US international youth teams, but was brought on to the team by Klinsmann as the US coach was impressed with the right back’s performances for FC Nuernberg in the past few years.

John Brooks, or as he was renamed after his game winning goal against Ghana, “Johnny Futbol” was born and raised in the German capital of Berlin. He has played for both the US (U-20, U-23) and German (U-20) youth teams and currently makes his money playing for Hertha Berlin. The US should be happy to have him, because at 21 years old, he has already received a Bundesliga “Player of the Week” award. Look for this guy to feature in a lot of games for the red, white and blue in the future.

Julian Green, arguably the most famous of the lot finally agreed to join the US team after months if not years of convincing from Klinsmann and his coaching staff. Green was actually born in Tampa, Florida but makes his home in Munich as he has been their second team’s star player in the last season; scoring 15 goals in only 23 appearances. Green has featured for the German U-16, 17’s and 19’s, despite making one appearance for the American U-18 team in 2012. At only 18 years old, Green is by far the best talent the US has ever had, so keep an eye out for that name for years to come.

It has to be said that outside of Julian Green, most of these players play for America because they were not good enough to get chosen by Germany. But that doesn’t mean that they are not good at what they do. The US should be very happy to have them in their ranks. It is an honor to represent any country at the World Cup, and I can guarantee you that once the ball gets rolling in Recife on Thursday, those German-American players will give their all for the country that they represent.