[USA MEN]Julian Green, the 18-year-old German-American who debuted for German champion Bayern Munich last fall, will join the U.S. national team for training in Frankfurt before it flies to Kharkiv for its game against Ukraine on March 5. The USA hopes it will be the first step in a move by Green to commit to switch allegiances.
Julian Green, 2013-14 Appearances:
GP/G TEAM (COMPETITION)
1/0 Bayern Munich (UEFA Champions League)
18/15 Bayern Munich II (Regionalliga-fourth division)
3/0 Germany (UEFA U-19 Championship qualifying)
U.S. Soccer confirmed to multiple news outlets that Green will train with the national team but will not travel to Ukraine. Even if U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann wanted to take Green to Kharkiv, he is currently ineligible to play for the USA. He is bound to play for Germany as he has played for it at the U-19 competitive level. But as a U.S. citizen by virtue of his birth in Tampa and to an American father, Green is entitled to petition FIFA for a one-time change of association as other current U.S. internationals like Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson and Aron Johannsson have done.
(Other teenage prospects like German-bornGedion Zelalem and Uruguayan-born Diego Fagundez, neither of whom are yet U.S. citizens, would be ineligible to ever play for the USA if they play for their countries of birth at the youth level before becoming U.S. citizens because FIFA rules require players making switches be eligible for their new national team when they first played for their former national team.)
The story of Green's call-up picked up steam Friday as U.S. national team assistant coach Andreas Herzog attended Bayern practice, and German tabloid Bild reportedthat "der Klinsi-Plan" was to call up Green for the World Cup in Brazil and the Frankfurt camp was a chance to introduce Green to the team.
A player's switch of allegiance, not the first competitive game for his new national team, cap-ties him, so there is no rush to get Green ready to play in the World Cup. He would be tied to the USA when FIFA approved his petition, whether that was before or after the World Cup or whether he played or didn't play at the World Cup.
It is not outside the realm of possibility that Klinsmann asks Green to go the World Cup, but it would seem very unlikely for multiple reasons, not the least of which is would go against the message that Klinsmann believes in the players he has at hand to tackle a very tough group in Brazil.
Any call-up would involve a tug-of-war between Klinsmann and his old club, Bayern, which has a big interest in keeping Green tied to the German national team, not to a team that plays most of its competitive games thousands of miles away. (Such pressure from his club, Nuremberg, was one of the many factors holding back Timmy Chandler from tying the knot with the USA.)