Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
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
'Caps still in search of that missing piece    
A 2-2 tie with FC Dallas Sunday left Vancouver just out of the playoff tier and ...
At home in America    
The most entertaining part of the summer of soccer, I admit, has been Louis van Gaal's ...
No beach time for Lampard just yet    
One of the most-capped players in the history of England's national team, midfielder Frank Lampard says ...
Proposing a radical rule addition to protect players    
The best World Cup ever? Not if you are concerned about player safety.
Brazil Diary: Germans bring joy to Rio    
Two sets of fans on the subway leaving the Maracana station on Sunday night wore German ...
Soccer America's World Cup Best XI    
In a tournament with so many twists and turns, it isn't easy to come up with ...
Germany-Argentina Player Ratings    
A gripping World Cup final ended with a superb goal by Mario Goetze that earned Germany ...
Germany is Weltmeister, deservedly    
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Mario Goetze, who was born nearly two years after Germany last won ...
The 10 best things about the 2014 World Cup    
Brazil 2014 has been the best World Cup of our lifetime. Beginning with the first three ...
Brazil Diary: Meeting Pele     
Life is good. On Saturday I had the offer of a free sandwich and a roundtable ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives