What's buzzing:

Brooks' goal happened just like in a dream

AP - Sports
Brooks' goal happened just like in a dream

View gallery

United States' John Brooks is mobbed by his teammates after scoring their side's second goal …

NATAL, Brazil (AP) -- Smiling ear to ear after winning a World Cup match with his first international goal, John Brooks had a story to share.

''I told some teammates that I dreamed that I scored in the 80th minute and we won the game,'' he said. ''And now it was the 86th minute and we won.''

One of the surprise picks by U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Brooks hadn't been in the starting lineup for the Americans' World Cup opener against Ghana. But after central defender Matt Besler felt tightness in his right hamstring during the final five minutes of the first half, Klinsmann sent the 21-year-old Brooks on for the start of the second.

Just four minutes after Andre Ayew's 82nd-minute goal wiped out a lead Clint Dempsey had given the U.S. just 30 seconds in, Brooks outjumped Ghana's John Boye to meet Graham Zusi's corner kick and bounced an 8-yard header past goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey.

Overcome with emotion, Brooks ran in disbelief, slumped to the ground arms first and felt teammates pile onto him. When they finally moved off, he put both hands to his lips and blew a kiss.

Brooks thought back to two nights earlier and the dream.

It also was on a header.

From a corner kick.

Just liked it happened.

''It was unbelievable,'' Brooks said. ''I couldn't believe it.''

Klinsmann chose Brooks over Clarence Goodson, an unused substitute on the 2010 World Cup team. Among the five German-Americans on the 23-man squad, Brooks made his national team debut last August and had only four appearances entering the World Cup. He was benched twice last season by Hertha Berlin, his club in the German Bundesliga, for a poor performance in December and being unable to train in April because he was hampered by a tattoo on his back.

''With John, I saw, we saw, very early that his passing is amazing. He's very calm for his age. Obviously he's very strong in the air because he's so tall,'' Klinsmann said. ''This is what you read, then you have to figure out is he ready for such a big thing like a World Cup already or maybe does it take another year or two in his development?''

Klinsmann consulted with Hertha coach Jos Luhukay and sporting director Michael Preetz.

''They expected more from him the last season. There he got a little bit of a lesson from his coach,'' Klinsmann said. ''It's part of growing, as well. But we knew that if we had the time now for more than a month to work him through every training session, to teach him some elements of the game, that he's willing to take that on and learn it quickly. And obviously he learned it quickly.''

As the American Outlaws chanted their way out of the stadium, Brooks missed the chance to meet Vice President Joe Biden when he visited the locker room. Brooks and Jermaine Jones had been chosen for random drug tests.

Brooks, who lives in Berlin and has family in Chicago, has only visited the U.S. for training camps and vacation. But speaking one day in California last month, he said, ''When I'm here, I'm a full American. I play with heart for America.''

He had nerves initially Monday, yet is thrilled with how things ended.

''I think the first goal was perfect, a perfect start. Couldn't be better,'' Brooks said.

Nearly two hours after the final whistle, Brooks was among the last U.S. players to leave the locker room. Someone asked whether he thinks he will start against Portugal on Sunday.

''I don't expect anything,'' he said. ''I just give my best in every training session, and we'll see.''

NOTES: The team returned to its base camp of Sao Paulo and U.S. F Jozy Altidore was scheduled to have his injured left hamstring examined Tuesday afternoon, U.S. Soccer Federation spokesman Neil Buethe said. Altidore was hurt in the first half and replaced by Aron Johannsson.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (3)
  • FIFA's Blatter says Swiss investigation is 'outrageous': Bunte

    FIFA's Blatter says Swiss investigation is 'outrageous': Bunte

    Outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter said a Swiss criminal investigation against him was "not correct" and defended his decision not to step down sooner as head of the world soccer body, according to a German magazine. Blatter, under criminal … More »

    Reuters - 44 minutes ago
  • US uses 4-goal 2nd half to beat Panama

    US uses 4-goal 2nd half to beat Panama

    Kiesewetter sparked the offense with a goal and an assist in the second half, and the United States beat Panama 4-0 in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying on a rainy Tuesday. Scoreless at halftime, coach Andi Herzog turned to his bench for a lift, sending … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 29 minutes ago
  • Mo Babouli and Michael Petrasso help Canada draw Cuba 2-2 at Olympic qualifying

    Mo Babouli, Michael Petrasso and their teammates all had to wait to see if they advanced in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament. Babouli and Petrasso both scored as Canada drew Cuba 2-2 on Tuesday in the under-23 soccer tournament. "It's … More »

    The Canadian Press - 2 hours 21 minutes ago
  • Mora helps Cuba tie Canada, 2-2

    COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) -- Arichel Hernandez Mora scored twice, including in the 87th minute, and Cuba tied Canada 2-2 on Tuesday night in Group A Pool Play of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament. … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 hours ago
  • Ireland assistant says new dad Keane will play Germany

    Ireland assistant says new dad Keane will play Germany

    Ireland's Robbie Keane will be ready to face Group D leaders Germany in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Thursday despite arriving late from the United States after the birth of his second son. Ireland's assistant manager Roy Keane, asked if the … More »

    Reuters - 7 hours ago