USA Green with Envy as Julian Chooses Germany
After amassing 80 caps and managing the side for two years, Jürgen Klinsmann could well be found guilty of treason in Germany if his latest mission to recruit one of the country's future star pays off.
The player in question is Julian Green, born in Florida, but after moving to Germany at the age of two, he is in the middle of a tug-of-war between two proud nations.
After receiving his first taste of action for Bayern Munich's under-17 side at the tender age of 15, Green established himself in the side a year later firing home 17 goals in 25 appearances.
Last season, he was awarded with a place in the Bavarian side's under-19 squad. He repaid this faith by contributing 10 goals and six assists.
Pep Guardiola's arrival in the summer saw the American-German given his initial break in the first team. Of course, making an impact in a side with world class players in nearly every position is going to be difficult.
Making an impact, however, was something that had always come natural for Green. Within his first appearance under the guidance of Guardiola, the 18-year-old bagged a hat trick in a convincing 15-1 friendly win. A day later, he repeated the same fate, scoring three in a 9-1 victory.
Fans, players and coaches alike were now ready to acknowledge the youngster and not least the former Liverpool wing-back Christian Ziege, now in charge of Germany's under-19 side.
Having seen Green slip away to play for the United States' U-18 side after featuring at U16 and U17 levels for the Germans, Ziege was desperate to have him back in the fold.
That was exactly what Green went for, and this year, in a move which has seen him reintegrated back into the national youth set up, he has made five appearances for Germany U19s.
This was not after, though, Bayern had promoted the Tampa born prospect into their second team. Competing in the nation's fourth tier, Green has flourished in the step up into men's football.
Equally adept at playing on the left wing or in a false nine position, the teenager has been at his most prolific under the leadership of second team manager Erik ten Hag. Fifteen goals in just 18 appearances has guided Little Bayern to the top of Regionalliga Bayern.
Now, Klinsmann really could not ignore such a talent and in attempt to secure his long term future was back with the US men's national team, he called him up into the senior squad.
The opportunity of playing for your birth country is one very few turn down but it was this exact option that Green opted for. With FIFA rules meaning he would have been ineligible to appear in an official match for the USMNT in time for when he was called up, the dual-nationality prospect decided to accept a call up from Ziege instead.
Klinsmann reacted gracefully to the decline but made it well known the option was still available, "We had a great conversation. He’s a mature young man and he clearly has a bright future. I told him that when the time is right, the door is wide open."
Although his international pathway may not be clear, Green has not been distracted and made his deserved first team debut in a 3-1 victory over CSKA Moscow in the Champions League this week. Rewarded with three minutes as a substitute for Mario Götze, it was surely just a taste of what is to come.
For now, Green will continue to focus on ten Hag's side and furthering his progression under Guardiola but with his first team debut now out the way, it will surely not be long until Joachim Löw enters the battle for international ownership.