Julian Green to train with U.S.
Bayern Munich forward Julian Green has agreed to train with the U.S. national team ahead of its March 5 game against the Ukraine, the U.S Soccer Federation has confirmed to ESPNFC.com.
But multiple sources have also told ESPNFC.com that a report implying Green is set to pledge his international future to the U.S. is premature.
The report from German publication Bild said Green, the son of an American father and German mother, met with U.S. assistant coach and former Bayern Munich midfielder Andreas Herzog on Friday, and that Herzog watched the team train. A photo on U.S. Soccer's Instagram account confirmed that the two met.
But the report also said Green "should soon be a U.S. national team player, and is potentially going to the World Cup. That's what Jurgen Klinsmann plans."
However, Julian's father, Jerry Green, said by telephone that his son had told him he was joining up with the U.S. team "just to practice," and made no mention of whether he was committing to the U.S. full-time.
"If Julian had [committed to the U.S.], he would have told me," said Jerry Green.
The U.S. Soccer Federation declined to say if Green's commitment to the U.S. squad extended beyond the brief training stint. What is clear is that at present Green can only represent Germany because of his participation with the German under-19 team, which is attempting to qualify for the European Championships.
In order to be eligible to play for the U.S., the Tampa-born Green would have to file a one-time switch with FIFA.
Another source with knowledge of the situation said that not only had Klinsmann not made a commitment to Green to take him to the World Cup, but also he hadn't made such a promise to any American players.
The source also said that while the move to include Green in training sessions with the U.S. team was a positive step toward ultimately securing his allegiance, it was a bit of a leap to think that this meant he would be on the final World Cup roster.
That said, Green sounded as if he was very much looking forward to working with the U.S. team.
"For me, it's an honor and an unbelievable chance," Green told Bild. "I could play for the U.S. and perhaps go with them to the World Cup. It can't get any better than that, and I'm very thankful for the trust in me."
Speculation over Green's international future has escalated in recent months, ever since Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola played the 18-year-old in some preseason games.
Since then, Green has gone on to score 15 goals in 18 games with Bayern Munich's reserve team, which plays in the fourth tier of German soccer. In November, Green made his first team debut, coming on as a substitute in a UEFA Champions League game against CSKA Moscow.