Julian Green Chooses to Wear Red, White and Blue
Mar 19, 2014 11:26 PM EDT
On his Twitter account Tuesday afternoon, United States Men's National Team head coach Jürgen Klinsmann announced that Julian Green decided to represent the U.S. over Germany for his international playing career. The U.S. Soccer Federation confrimed the news in a statement saying that Green has "applied for a one-time change of association to FIFA."
The 18-year-old German-American was born in Tampa, Fla. but moved to Germany at an early age and eventually ended up playing within the Bayern Munich system. As a dual citizen, Green represented both German and American youth squads. In February, Klinsmann invited Green to a two-day training camp in Frankfurt, Germany with the USMNT ahead of their March 5 friendly against Ukraine. The invitation rose speculation that Klinsmann was close to recruiting the talent to commit to the U.S. over Germany. Many believed that Klinsmann's influence as a former German national team head coach could sway Green in joining the Americans. Those speculations proved to result in a major recruit for the USMNT.
"Obviously this was a big decision, and I spent a long time discussing it with my family," said Green. "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."
According to Green, the two-day training camp in Frankfurt proved to be the tipping point. His positive experience with the USMNT squad made Green believe that the U.S. was the team for him.
"We wanted him to feel comfortable with our program and listen to his heart when making his decision," said Klinsmann. "He is an exciting player with a tremendously bright future."
With Green's one-time switch, Klinsmann extended an invitation for the newest U.S. Soccer member to join the squad for a training camp ahead of the USMNT's friendly against rival Mexico in Glendale, Ariz. on April 2.
Green's joy now turns to focus as he eyes a ticket to Brazil.
"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."