2014 World Cup
Bayern Munich's Julian Green Picks United States
In a sudden sequence of events, 18-year-old German-American soccer starlet Julian Green has decided to play his international soccer for the United States instead of Germany.
BY John Godfrey PostedLET'S START WITH JURGEN KLINSMANN'S announcement, which he just made on Twitter.
March 18, 2014
March 18, 2014
Yes, Green is on board. He will join the United States in Arizona ahead of the April 2 Mexico friendly and, presumably, has the inside track for one of the 23 roster spots for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
"As we have said, he is a very special talent," said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "We wanted him to feel comfortable with our program and listen to his heart when making this decision. I personally want to thank Kalle Rummenigge and everyone at Bayern Munich for their support through this process. He is an exciting player with a tremendously bright future."
Born in Tampa, Fla., the 18-year-old Green is a dual citizen of the United States and Germany. He has been a part of a U.S. U-18 camp, and most recently spent two days with the U.S. national team in March prior to the friendly against Ukraine. Because he played for Germany in an official competition—a qualifier for the U-19 European Championship—the one-time change application was required.
"Obviously this was a big decision, and I spent a long time discussing it with my family," said Green. "I was born in Florida and my father still lives there, so I have deep roots in the U.S. I'm very proud to be representing the United States.
"A big part of the decision was the experience I had in Frankfurt. All the players were super nice and welcomed me from the beginning. Clint Dempsey gave me a jersey with my name on it, and the way they supported me gave me a lot of belief. The coaches have shown a lot of trust in me, and now I hope to do everything I can to earn a spot on the World Cup roster."
So there you go.
While this is almost certainly great news for Klinsmann and American soccer fans over the long haul, questions remain about what this means for this summer. Did Green just swipe Eddie Johnson's seat on the plane? Will Brek Shea get edged out of the World Cup? Could Mix Diskerud be left out?
Or will Green even make the 2014 World Cup squad? Michael Owen was ready for the big stage when he was 18, but is Green—who turns 19 on June 5—ready to face Ghana, Portugal, and Germany on the world's biggest stage?
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“We are absolutely thrilled that Julian Green has chosen to be a part of the U.S. National Team Programs!"— Jürgen Klinsmann (@J_Klinsmann) March 18, 2014