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U.S. Soccer makes it official: Julian Green has applied to play for the United States

Mar 18, 2014, 6:50 PM EDT

Epsilon/Bongarts/Getty Images Getty Images

News that originally broke Tuesday afternoon has been confirmed by U.S. Soccer, with the federation announcing 18-year-old Julian Green has begun the process of becoming  a U.S. international.

Having already appeared once for Germany in an official FIFA competition, the Tampa, Fla.-born winger must file for a one-time change of association, but with U.S. Soccer having confirmed that filing, Green has begun the process of joining the United States’ national teams.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Julian has chosen to be a part of the U.S. National Team Programs,” head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a statement, distributed by U.S. Soccer. “As we have said, he is a very special talent. We wanted him to feel comfortable with our program and listen to his heart when making this decision.”

The decision means Green would no longer represent Germany, where he was eligible to compete as a dual citizen. Having appeared in European U-19 Championship qualifying with the Germans, Green had to apply to FIFA for a one-time change of association. Once the process is completed, the winger will be tied to the United States’ national teams.

“I personally want to thank Kalle Rummenigge and everyone at Bayern Munich for their support through this process,” Klinsmann said, with Green currently under contract to the European champions. “He is an exciting player with a tremendously bright future.”

That future is currently being realized with Bayern’s second team: Bayern Munich II. Playing in the fourth division, the team sits atop their league’s standings thanks in large part for Green’s 15 goals in 21 appearances. The former U.S. international also made a brief UEFA Champions League appearance earlier this fall, coming on for two minutes in Bayern’s 3-1 victory at CSKA Moscow.

Green had previously trained with the U.S. in Frankfurt ahead of the team’s recent friendly against Ukraine, an experience Green cited as crucial in his decision to switch to his country of birth.

“A big part of the decision was the experience I had in Frankfurt,” Green said, via U.S. Soccer. “All the players were super nice and welcomed me from the beginning.

Clint Dempsey gave me a jersey with my name on it, and the way they supported me gave me a lot of belief. The coaches have shown a lot of trust in me, and now I hope to do everything I can to earn a spot on the World Cup roster.”

It’s a possibility that will fuel fan speculation over the next couple of months, with the U.S.’s ability to secure this switch before this summer’s tournament a potential sign of Klinsmann’s intent. Invited to join the national team for training ahead of Apr. 2’s friendly against Mexico, Green will get a chance to impress his new national team boss before the U.S.’s pre-World Cup training camp in May.

Whether he makes the World Cup squad or not, Green will be bound to the U.S., should his one-time transfer go through, a permanency that underscored the gravity of his decision.

“Obviously this was a big decision, and I spent a long time discussing it with my family,” Green explained. “I was born in Florida and my father still lives there, so I have deep roots in the U.S. I’m very proud to be representing the United States.”

  1. Ian's Rushtache - Mar 18, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    I’m glad he joined, but lets not too far ahead of ourselves. He is still only 18. Having said that, I think in Pep Guardiola and Jurgen he has managers around him that will help him stay grounded and develop his football. I could see him potentially having a significant increase in development much the way that Raheem Sterling has under Rodgers. But lest we not forget the “greatness” that was bestowed on Freddy Adu.

    • schmutzdeck - Mar 18, 2014 at 11:32 PM

      What does Adu have to do with this?

      Green is already three things Freddy never was , fast, a winger and a goal scorer.

      The people who are telling you this guy Green is going to be great are two very accomplished soccer experts Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klinsmann.

      Both have some real stake in insuring Green turns out to be great.

      In comparison JK has never even mentioned Adu’s name, to my knowledge, and neither Bayern nor Barca, as far as I can tell, ever showed any serious interest in acquiring Freddy..If Blackpool wouldn’t take Freddy on why would Bayern?

      As far as I can tell, the best authorities on the subject, Freddy’s managers, well none of them ever said he was great.

      • tomcatfl - Mar 19, 2014 at 10:58 AM

        Adu was also only 14 when he was tagged for future greatness, which was an impossibly optimistic tag for *anyone* at the age of 14. Julian is 18, and is only being tagged as a bright prospect for the USMNT — which he is.

  2. jimmycrackcorn99 - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    This is great news – congratulations to Jürgen, the USMNT and US soccer/football fans everywhere. I really think that this kid will be a major asset for years to come.

  3. mknow406a - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    There goes Shea’s ticket to Brazil. Having Green on the roster adds a ton more flexibility to the USMNT…. especially on the left. Fabian Johnson can now be played at LB, RB or LM depending on the need. I know he’s not the finished product, but they Bayern took him to the World Club Championship for a reason… you don’t take an 18-year old to a tourney like that unless you feel strongly that the experience will pay-off down the road.

    • tomcatfl - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      Shea already lost his shot at a ticket…

      • mknow406a - Mar 20, 2014 at 1:19 AM

        The lack of any other real options has kept Shea in the picture way longer than he should have been…

  4. mikeevergreen - Mar 19, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    I’d d say Shea’s ticket to Brazil was gone when he started making gestures to fans. As far as Green goes, this was expected. Germany has so many players of his caliber at this position that it was only natural that he play for another nation. Germany has almost gotten to the point of brazil where football players are one of the nation’s cash crops. In Germany’s case, the US is its best customer.

    • tomcatfl - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:05 AM

      I think Shea’s ticket was gone before those gestures – all speed but not good enough on the ball to get consistent time on the field. I wonder if back to MLS would be his best move this summer.

    • bear06 - Mar 20, 2014 at 3:53 AM

      Germany talked to him before filing his one time switch to play for the U.S. hoping that Green would stay with them.

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