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Mission Improbable: Acquire Neven Subotic

US Men’s National Team fans, your mission, should you decide to accept it, is as follows:

Acquire Neven Subotic.

The target is a 6-foot-4, 19 year old future soccer star. He was born in 1988 in the small town of Banja Luka in what is now Bosnia. In 1990, he moved to Germany after war broke out in his homeland. In 1999, he moved to America with his family. Mr. Subotic’s last known whereabouts were Borussia Dortmund of the German Bundesliga where he is expected to emerge as a starting center back.

Your mission is to convince Mr. Subotic that he should play for the United States Men’s National Soccer team, rather than for Serbia or Germany. This mission is highly perilous and fraught with uncertainty. You must assume the risk that your best efforts may still not be enough to convince Mr. Subotic to play for the US.

As you know, Mr. Subotic once seemed keen to play for the US. He played for the US’s U-17 team and sought a position on the U-20 World Cup team that impressed in Canada. Unfortunately, US Soccer Agent Thomas Rongen, manager of the U-20 team, left Subotic off the U-20 squad and made disparaging comments about Mr. Subotic’s development. Mr. Subotic was so upset with Agent Rongen’s criticism he began to entertain thoughts of playing for Germany or Serbia.

Mr. Subotic had stated he would make his decision regarding his national team future in the Summer of 2008, but he later reneged and opined he would wait until early 2009 to announce his decision. Therefore, time is of the essence.

Prior to New Year’s Day 2009, you must persuade Mr. Subotic that he belongs on the US team. You need to implore him to bring his advanced aerial abilities to the US. Explain to him that his opportunities to succeed with Germany and Serbia would be far more limited than here in the U.S.

If you are unsuccessful in your attempts to acquire Mr. Subotic, US Soccer will disavow any knowledge of your actions.

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