By FRANCO PANIZO
Jurgen Klinsmann’s M.O. since being appointed the head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2011 has been to try and get as many dual nationals to play for the U.S. setup so as to not risking losing “the next Giuseppe Rossi.”
Klinsmann has fared well in that regard, and on Tuesday he claimed another victory by getting a player with immense potential to commit to the American cause.
Klinsmann revealed via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon that teenage phenom Julian Green has chosen to play for the U.S. ahead of an upcoming friendly against Mexico. Green, an 18-year-old winger who made his Bayern Munich debut earlier this season, has filed his one-time switch and U.S. Soccer expects the process to be completed in the coming weeks.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Julian has chosen to be a part of the U.S. National Team Programs,” said Klinsmann in a statement. “As we have said, he is a very special talent. 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., to an American father and German mother, Green had been heavily pursued by Klinsmann and U.S. Soccer in recent months and took part in his first training camp with the full national team earlier this month.
Green made his professional debut under highly-respected Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola with a two-minute substitute appearance in UEFA Champions League play in November, but has not played for the German giants’ first team since.
“Obviously this was a big decision, and I spent a long time discussing it with my family,” said Green in the same statement. “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.”
Green had recently played for Germany’s Under-19 team in a European Championship qualifier and was provisionally cap-tied to Die Mannschaft as a result, but there is now a chance he could make his U.S. debut in the April 2 friendly versus Mexico in Phoenix, Ariz., and represent the Americans at the World Cup in Brazil this summer.
He joins a growing list of dual nationals that have chosen to represent the U.S. in recent years, a list that includes Aron Johannsson, Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona and German-Americans like Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson, Terrence Boyd and Danny Williams.
How happy are you with Green’s decision? Expecting to see Green get a healthy shift in the upcoming friendly versus Mexico? Do you see him making it onto the World Cup roster?
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