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Player Spotlight

Julian Green Now Needs Minutes for Club, Country

With a World Cup cameo behind him and a new Bundesliga opportunity ahead of him, 19-year-old attacker Julian Green wants to raise his game and make a case for more playing time.

BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
September 02, 2014
3:10 PM
PRAGUE—It has been quite a busy week for Julian Green, 19, who arrived in U.S. training camp here after securing a season long-loan from Bayern Munich to Hamburg SV.

Initially Green returned to Bayern Munich following the offseason hoping to earn a spot playing for the defending European champions, and for a time that audacious goal appeared possible as the Tampa-born winger made the bench in Bayern Munich’s season opener.

As the transfer deadline approached, however, the opportunity for a loan with HSV became possible. Green spoke with Klinsmann and Bayern’s staff and all parties agreed it was the right move.

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“It was not just Jurgen,” Green said following Monday’s U.S. national team practice. “But we talked about it and I think Hamburg is a very big city, a very big club. To have a chance to play for this club is very good. I think I’ll get chances to play there and that is the most important thing for me.”

“It’s nice that everything is finished right now,” he said. “I am very happy to make this step—to go on loan to Hamburg.”

Klinsmann on Tuesday was very happy that the move to HSV went forward on deadline day. He believes this will be an opportunity for Green to finally earn professional minutes and transition into becoming a Bundesliga player after playing behind some of the best players in the world at Bayern Munich.

“Julian’s move was a very smart move,” Klinsmann said. “I was in touch with him about this whole thing. I said if there are opportunities there, you've got to do it. We had that thought already a couple of months ago because we see the roster at Bayern Munich. We see who is playing there and who is in front of him. You got to be realistic.

"He’s 19 years old.”

“This is ideal,” Klinsmann added. “It’s great. Finding a club like Hamburg in that moment is very positive too because we have a great relationship with their coach. The technical director I’ve known a long time. The general manager is an old teammate of mine. So it’s great.”

Historically one of Germany’s bigger clubs, Hamburg has in recent years fallen on hard times. The club has won the German title six times and been runner up on eight occasions. It has also won the German Cup three times.

Volatility has reigned in recent years, as HSV struggled with a relegation battle in 2011-12, a seventh place finish in 2012/13, and most recently a sixteenth place finish in 2013-14, when it missed out on its first-ever relegation only by winning a playoff series against Greuther Furth.

This season has started off in poor fashion against two newly promoted teams. On opening day HSV played to a 0-0 draw against Cologne and most recently suffered a 3-0 home loss against Paderborn.

In addition to Green, HSV also acquired Lewis Holtby on loan from Tottenham. Green will now attempt to earn the minutes that were so elusive for him at Bayern Munich and do it while helping a team that needs an offensive boost.

“Everybody in this club wants to have a different season than last year,” Green said. “I will give my best to help the team.”

“It’s all for Hamburg now,” Green added. “Hamburg is the perfect team for me. That’s the reason why I made this decision. It’s a good opportunity for me to play and that’s the most important thing for me. I am a young player.”

While he is still one of the younger players on the squad, more will be expected of Green because of his World Cup experience and his likely status as a Bundesliga first-team player. He is no longer the new face on the team.

“I’m still a young player but of course it was a great experience to see how it works, to play a World Cup,” Green said. “I played 15 minutes and scored one goal so it’s a nice experience. But now it’s a new season and everything starts new. I’m looking forward to it.”

Klinsmann agreed that it is a fresh start for Green, adding that for young players like Green and John Brooks, now is the time for them to raise their games.

“They have to make the next big step in their careers in order to be a consistent element in the national team as well,” Klinsmann said of Green and Brooks. “It goes hand in hand. The way they came through in the last two years is just exciting. We wish them now stability and games with their club teams in order become here more of a stronger presence.”

“We want them obviously now to accelerate their growing process because they have tremendous amount of talent,” Klinsmann continued. “But they have to become more consistent. Obviously in Julian’s case, he has to get now games. He has to become a starter.”

The key during this new World Cup cycle will be to find opportunities for young players while at the same time easing them into the program.

“Going through those growing phases, there will always be a bit of a rollercoaster,” Klinsmann said. “It will be in and out, down and up, but they now have the confidence to fight their way through. We want to help them in that process.

"That means we also want to give them opportunities now with us going into like a transition year, into a Gold Cup, where we feel confident anyway.”

Do you see Green as a regular first-team player? Do you expect to see him in the XI against the Czech Republic?

Brian Sciaretta is an American Soccer Now columnist and an ASN 100 panelist. Follow him on Twitter.

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