Arts & Entertainment

World Cup 2014: Who is John Brooks, US game-winning goal scorer?

John Brooks of the United States celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Ghana and the United States.
John Brooks of the United States celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Ghana and the United States.
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The name John Anthony Brooks likely didn't ring a bell for many Americans before Monday.

But by minute 87 of the U.S. vs. Ghana game, John Brooks had become America's newest national hero.

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The 21-year-old rookie defender pounded a header into the ground and past Ghana's Adam Kwarasey. It's hard to overstate the importance of this victory for the United States. During the past two World Cups, Ghana had kicked the team out of the tournament. As The New York Times put it, Monday's victory marked the moment when the United States Men's National Team "was no longer an also-ran in Ghana's shadow."

Also with games against Portugal and Germany — two of the world's most formidable opponents — this was a crucial game if the U.S. is to make it out of the first round.

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With that, here are a few things you should know about Brooks, who also became the first American male to come off the bench to score a goal in a World Cup game:

Last Sunday, Brooks did not make the Hertha squad for their away game at Bayer Leverkusen. According to Berliner Morgenpost, the U.S. international was omitted from the trip because of a "large-scale back tattoo," which currently makes football difficult for the defender.

"During the stitching process the skin region should not be touched, and also any perspiration should be avoided. The back tattoo has not only limited Brooks' appearances on the training pitch, but has also infuriated Luhukay.

"'I don't have any understanding for that. The tattoo could lead to an inflammation, and, naturally, that is not good," Luhukay was quoted by the Berlin based paper.

We'll leave you with Brooks' official US Soccer interview: