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May 27, 2014

Julian Green: U.S. was 'right decision'

Bayern Munich prospect Julian Green insisted on Tuesday that he was not promised a World Cup squad spot if he chose the United States over Germany, according to a report.

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"That didn't happen," Green told Goal USA. "In soccer you always have to give your best on the pitch and you have to bring your best."

Green said he was not shocked by the news.

"Surprised? I gave a lot of work on the pitch and I'm just happy," he said. "Yeah of course I'm very happy, [choosing the USA over Germany] was the right decision. I love playing here and I'm very happy."

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann last week chose Green, who at 18 years old is the youngest member of the squad. He made his first and only appearance for the U.S. as a substitute against Mexico in April.

Last week, Klinsmann said he was not comparing Green to Landon Donovan, who Klinsmann opted to leave off the final roster in a move that shocked U.S. fans.

"He [Green] is very well respected in this group. They measure yourself with the quality you bring to the table not your age or where you came from," Klinsmann said. "He brings a different element and we are excited about it.

"[Teammates] want to see that in the games. We played, over the last 10 days, a lot of small side games, very competitive games and games that you can't hide. Julian didn't hide, not even one second," Klinsmann said.

Green played just once outside Germany's fourth division, but the youngster is highly regarded by Bayern Munich and was observed by German coach Joachim Loew earlier this season.

"He really impressed me," U.S. defender Fabian Johnson told Goal about Green. "He's a good guy off the field as well. He's a technical guy with good speed. He's still a young guy with much talent, I think he can be a really great player if he keeps working."

"He has good feet, he has good decision making," U.S. captain Clint Dempsey told Goal. "I think that by playing with a club like Bayern Munich, you get great coaching, and you can see that he's a kid that has a bright future and we're happy to have him."

Dempsey was in favor of having a younger player on the team at the World Cup.

"I think you need a good mix in the team," Dempsey said. "You need people who are hungry who are not going to be afraid, [players] that are new to it so they don't know what to fear. Also you need people with experience that have been in the situations and know how to handle tough games. I think that's a balance you always try to find as a coach, try to find the right mix of youth and experience and what's going to be best for the team moving forward, and I think we have a good mix."

Klinsmann said young players such as Green, Anthony Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin have a "learning curve ahead of them."

After the Azerbaijan friendly in San Francisco, the U.S. team will play Turkey on June 1, in Harrison, N.J., and Nigeria on June 7 in Jacksonville, Fla., before heading to Brazil.

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