Julian Green, who two years ago became the youngest player to score a World Cup goal for the USA, is one of 10 reserve and youth team players on tour in the USA with Bayern Munich, which faces AC Milan in Chicago on Wednesday, Inter Milan in Charlotte Saturday and Real Madrid in New Jersey Aug. 3.
It was less than a month after his 19th birthday that Green entered the USA’s round of 16 game at the 2014 World Cup against Belgium at halftime of overtime and on his first touch scored the consolation goal in the USA’s 2-1 loss.
That was the first and last goal Green scored for the USA, for which he didn’t see any action in 2015. In 2016, Green played 28 minutes for the USA, in a 3-1 friendly win at Puerto Rico.
Green’s career has not gone as one would have hoped after Jurgen Klinsmann convinced the skillful Germany-raised attacker to switch allegiance to the USA in March 2014, when Green was a promising 18-year-old on Bayern’s fourth division team.
He spent the season after the 2014 World Cup on loan with struggling Hamburg SV and played only 113 minutes in five appearances as a sub. He returned to Bayern Munich for the 2015-16 season and scored 10 goals for Bayern Munich II in the fourth division.
Green has yet to play a Bundesliga game for Bayern, but has played two Champions League games, three minutes in 2013 and 62 minutes in 2015 -- both in group games after Bayern had already clinched passage into the knockout round.
Breaking into to Bayern Munich’s first team has only gotten more difficult in the past few years, as Bayern has stalled its promotion of youth products and spent much more than ever on the transfer market. Since 2014, when Green started his loan stint with Hamburg SV, Bayern has bought five players for more than $30 million each and spent a total of about $200 million on both foreign and domestic players.
Green, who joined Bayern in 2010 shortly after his 15th birthday, is competing for a roster spot against world-class players. At least in this Bundesliga preseason, the fact Bayern is so stacked with international stars works to his advantage. Carlo Ancelotti giving many of the players who took part in Euro 2016 extra vacation opens up opportunities for Green to impress the new coach.
TV: Bayern Munich USA Tour
Wednesday, July 27
ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Digital
BAYERN MUNICH-AC MILAN 9:30 pm ET
Saturday, July 30
ESPNNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Digital
BAYERN MUNICH-INTER MILAN 5 pm ET
Wednesday, August 3
ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Digital
BAYERN MUNICH-REAL MADRID 7:30 pm ET
The Bayern team touring the USA has a few of its stars, such as Philipp Lahm, Franck Ribery, Xabi Alonso and David Alaba. But still resting from Euro 2016 are Manuel Neuer, Thomas Mueller, Jerome Boateng, Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels, Robert Lewandowski, Renato Sanches and Kingsley Coman.
Brazilian Diego Costa and Dutchman Arjen Robben, both wide attackers like Green, are out injured.
Before leaving Munich, Green told the German press that he’s not planning on another season with the reserves.
“I will try to prove myself, to give my best,” he said, adding that at the moment switching clubs is also not in his plans. “I’m looking for my chance here. What happens then, we’ll see.”
So far in the preseason, Green scored the first goal of the Ancelotti era, in a 4-3 win over fifth division Lippstadt. He played the full 90 in a 1-0 friendly win over Manchester City and the first 45 minutes of a 3-0 win over sixth division Landshut.
Upon arriving in Chicago, Ancelotti said that Green “has trained well. He has to continue to play hard now.”
Playing so impressively on the USA tour that he’ll break into Bayern’s first team may be a long shot, but some stellar performances could get Green’s career back on course with a club not so stacked with superstars.