Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Just how special is Julian Green?
by Mike Woitalla, March 19th, 2014 2:53AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  americans abroad, men's national team, world cup 2014

MOST COMMENTED

By Mike Woitalla

I suppose one has to recall Giuseppe Rossi to comprehend the excitement surrounding the decision of Julian Green, currently a fourth division player, to commit to the USA.

Rossi left his native New Jersey at age 12 to join Italy’s Parma and ended up a prolific scorer in both Serie A and Spain’s La Liga. He opted to play for Italy, was the leading scorer at the 2008 Olympics and has scored seven goals in 29 appearances for Italy -- including twice in a 3-1 win over the USA at the 2009 Confederations Cup. Had the U.S. Soccer successfully courted him at the start of his pro career, there’s little doubt he would have made some major contributions.

Green was born in Florida and has lived in Germany since age 2. Now 18, he has yet to play a Bundesliga game. He did make an 88th-minute appearance off the bench in Bayern Munich’s 3-1 Champions League win over CSKA Moscow in November, the month in which he earned a pro contract with Bayern through the summer of 2017.

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has succeeded in getting a commitment from Green, who was one of seven Germany-raised players in training camp for the Ukraine friendly two weeks ago. Unlike the others, Green made his decision to represent the USA before chances of playing for Germany were off the table.

Whether Green ends up even as good as Rossi is anybody’s guess, but so far he’s made a good impression.

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola says Green “can play wide and upfront, left and right.” Thomas Mueller, the Bayern star midfielder, says “the kid is for his age very robust and fast, very willing to work, technically very good. I like him.” Bayern’s sporting director Matthias Sammer: “He can play any offensive position.”

That the team whose lineup he hasn’t cracked is currently the world’s top club makes the reserve team status less troubling.

This season, Green has scored 15 goals in 21 games for Bayern Munich II, a U-23 team that competes in the Regionalliga against opponents without an age restriction.

Bayern is likely to clinch the Bundesliga title this month, which means Green could get playing time if Guardiola chooses to rest his attackers -- a collection of world-class players such as Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Mario Goetze, Mario Mandzukic -- as Bayern defends its Champions League and German Cup titles.

Green’s heart must truly be with the USA. Besides still having a chance of playing for Germany – whose youth teams he’s appeared for at various levels -- one imagines his decision went against what Bayern would have preferred, because European clubs generally lament players having to make trans-Atlantic trips for national team play.

The big question for Klinsmann, who constantly reminds his players they need to excel with their clubs, is whether to give a World Cup spot to a player who has, less than three months before the World Cup, played only a few minutes of soccer above the fourth division level (besides training camp friendlies with the first team).

The big question for me is whether Green’s talent turns out to be unique compared to what the USA has been producing, because I haven’t seen that from the other German products in the pool.

For now, Green is too young and untested for anyone to know just how far he will go. If he does end up a high-scoring star, U.S. Soccer won’t suffer through the what-might-have-been moments it's had with Rossi.


3 comments
  1. ROBERT BOND
    commented on: March 19, 2014 at 11:11 a.m.
    Let's see, trade a good chance for a World Cup championship for a snowball's chance.... I root for my Opa's side......
  1. Eric Schmitt
    commented on: March 19, 2014 at 11:35 a.m.
    Yes, Robert Bond, but there would never be that guarantee for Green. He would face an uphill battle to even be considered for Germany's senior team with all the talent ahead of him. The DFB was in no hurry to push Green along, and the US offers him a chance to play senior level soccer immediately. Green has a bright future wherever he plays, and he is choosing a side that wants to feature him at their top level right now. His father is American and he says he's always felt a strong connection. he is making the choice that makes the most sense to him.
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: March 19, 2014 at 2:34 p.m.
    Eric, the kid is 18 yoa, and u have discounted him for Das Meinschaft...he made his choice, just like Rossi who to date, and MHO, is the best American born player ever. Saw him play in U-10 travel league, AWESOME!!! and his passion steered him to the top level.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
For once, USA starts off a year just as it's supposed to    
Defensive miscues. Sloppy touches. Blown assignments. Confusion. These negative facets of play have been part and ...
Jozy shows he's still the man up front    
U.S. soccer fans have a love-hate relationship with most of their big stars. For every fan ...
Lee Nguyen on how he parlayed longer offseason into national team success    
Revs attacker Lee Nguyen got his first U.S. start against Iceland last Sunday and turned in ...
Revs' Heaps relishes competition and preaches consistency    
Aside from the apparent departure of Jermaine Jones, not a lot has changed on the New ...
USA-Canada match underscores Olympic issues for Klinsmann    
A games against Canada Friday may be the last opportunity for USA coaches Jurgen Klinsmann and ...
Christian Pulisic, 'the American Jewel,' must be protected    
I can think of 10 reasons we should be excited about Christian Pulisic. Those are each ...
Paths of Miazga and Cropper cross with both at crucial points    
An FA Cup match this weekend between MK Dons and Chelsea is a tussle between a ...
Return of Movsisyan reconnects Real Salt Lake with its rise to success    
After five years in Europe, striker Yura Movsisyan has come back to Real Salt Lake on ...
Coaches-in-training ready to whip LA Galaxy locker room into shape    
With three MLS titles in five seasons with the LA Galaxy and a scoring rate that ...
For once, some healthy signs are coming out of Toronto    
A flurry of offseason moves has strengthened Toronto FC after it conceded as many goals as ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives