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Brooks, the son of an American serviceman, was born and raised in Berlin. He came through the ranks of his hometown club, Hertha BSC. He reached Hertha's reserve team halfway through the 2010–11 season, although he still had a year and a half of remaining eligibility for the U-19 team. Brooks signed a four-year professional contract with Hertha after the season, turning down interest from Bayern Munich. Brooks spent nearly all of the 2011–12 season with Hertha II, taking a brief foray back to the U-19 team. Brooks continued to grow during this time, reaching a towering 6'4". Hertha suffered relegation from the Bundesliga in 2012. After the departure of some players and a very strong preseason, Brooks made his professional debut as a starter in Hertha's 2. Bundesliga opener in August 2012. Brooks scored in his Bundesliga debut on August 10, 2013 in Hertha BSC's 6–1 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Brooks holds both German and American citizenship. He has participated in several camps for both the US U-20 and U-23 team and in one for the Germany U20 team. He made his international debut for the US Under 20 team in a 5–0 loss against Paraguay in September 2010. In July 2013, German magazine kicker indicated that he had received a call-up from the full U.S.A. national team to feature in a friendly versus Bosnia. Brooks made his US Men's National Team debut on August 14, 2013 in a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina.