Julian Green picks U.S. over Germany
Eighteen-year-old German-American striker Julian Green has officially decided to represent the United States internationally, U.S. soccer announced on Tuesday.
The Florida-born Green, who had made two senior team appearances for UEFA Champions League holders Bayern Munich this season, submitted paperwork to FIFA to play for the U.S.
"Obviously this was a big decision, and I spent a long time discussing it with my family," Green said in a statement released by U.S. Soccer. "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."
Earlier Tuesday, SI.com reported that Green would train with the U.S. ahead of next month's friendly in Phoenix against Mexico, as he had earlier this month in Frankfurt, Germany, before the Americans' March 5 loss to Ukraine in Cyprus.
"A big part of the decision was the experience I had in Frankfurt," Green said. "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's application to switch international teams may or may not be approved in time for Green to participate in the Mexico match, which is the last tune-up for Jurgen Klinsmann's team before its pre-World Cup training camp begins in Northern California in mid-May.
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But as a dual citizen of the U.S. and Germany, Green is eligible to play with the Americans, so it's simply a matter of time until he gets the green light.
The appeal to FIFA was necessary because Green has participated in competitive matches with Germany's under-19 team during European qualifying.
"We are absolutely thrilled that Julian has chosen to be a part of the U.S. National Team Programs," Klinsmann said in the 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."
Klinsmann, a former star forward and coach at Bayern, has been heavily recruiting Green. He originally invited him to train with the Yanks in November, an invitation Green declined. But Green accepted the invite earlier this month and was photographed in a group picture with five of the squad's other German-Americans.
Last week, Klinsmann told USsoccer.com that if Green decided to represent his birth nation, he'll have a chance to make the 23-man squad for this summer's World Cup in Brazil.
"This is a player who has tremendous potential going forward," Klinsmann said. "I think there's a strong chance to see him rather sooner than later and there's also a chance for him to break even into this World Cup roster. But first he has to make this decision and we go from there."