The USSF has announced that Bayern Munich's 18-year-old goal machine Julian Green, who is a dual citizen of Germany and the United States, has applied for his one-time association switch to join the U.S. national team. This is great news for the U.S., since Green is a tantalizing young talent playing for the best club in the world right now. Though expectations should be tempered by his age and inexperience, here's a rundown of what we know about him.
-First, Klinsmann tells you what a "very special talent" Green is...
"He's very skillful, both footed," Klinsmann says. "Very calm on the ball. Technically very, very gifted and has tremendous pace. He's calm in front of the goal." So basically, he's a cross between Ronaldo, Messi, Pele and Maradona. Got it.
-Green was born in the Tampa, Florida to an American father and German mother. His family moved to Germany when he was two. He joined Bayern Munich's youth setup in 2010 and has played for Germany's U16-U19 teams since then. He did make one appearance for the U.S. U18 team in 2012, though.
-Since Green played for Germany in an official competition (a U19 European Championship qualifier), he now has to apply for a one-time association switch that must be approved by FIFA in order to officially join the U.S. senior squad.
-Playing for Bayern Munich II in the Regionalliga Bayern (the fourth tier of German football) this season, Green has scored 15 goals in 19 appearances. Here's a compilation of him knocking in goals against the lackluster competition...
-Green's only appearance for Bayern's first time (aside from preseason friendlies) came in the 88th minute of their Champions League group-stage match against CSKA Moscow back in November. He was also named to their winning Club World Cup squad the following month as a replacement for Arjen Robben.
-So why did Green choose the U.S. when he's lived almost his whole life in Germany? Well, given the timing it wouldn't be surprising if Klinsmann offered him a spot on this summer's World Cup roster to entice him — a opportunity the superior German team almost certainly wouldn't have considered.
-Also, a gift from Clint Dempsey helped seal the deal:
“A big part of the decision was the experience I had in Frankfurt. 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.”
-He will be the eighth German-American to play under Klinsmann. This might be an elaborate plan to get BMW to sponsor the team.
-Green will join the U.S. training camp ahead of their friendly against Mexico on April 2.
-It's important to remember that he's only 18 years old. Getting overly excited about teenagers hasn't panned out super great for the U.S. national team. Still, it's definitely better to have him than to not have him. Unless he's secretly a serial killer or something. But that seems highly unlikely.
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