If you haven’t heard of Julian Green yet, you will soon. An 18-year-old American born soccer stud, Green has already made an impression on coaches and fans around the world. On November 8, 2013, Green signed a professional contract with Bayern Munich that runs through the 2017 season. He made his debut in a UEFA Champions League match against CSKA Moscow on the 88th minute as a substitute for Mario Gotze. He was later named to Bayern’s squad for the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup.
In 1994, Julian’s father, while in the Army and stationed in Germany, married a local woman. The pair moved to Tampa where Julian was born. They divorced a few years later and Julian moved back to Europe with his mother. As a dual citizen of both the States and Germany, Green is eligible to play for either team.
His international career began with the Germany U16’s and U17’s. While he represented the United States at the U18 level, Green switched back to the German side and represented the country at the 2014 UEFA European Under-19 Championships. This past year, he decided to put on the USA jersey once and for all to honor his father’s time in the armed forces.
Julian Green made his professional international debut for the United States last week against Mexico, coming in on the 59th minute as a substitute to a roaring crowd in Arizona. While he didn’t walk on water or part the red sea, Green showed some flashes of talent. There were moments of good ball handling and speed, but also moments of turnovers and slip-ups. There’s no doubt that he is still a raw product, but that is very much expected with a player his age.
As U.S. Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann put it, “I think you saw in some moments what he’s capable of doing… how he goes in the box and draws two guys.” Like his coach, Green’s teammates had words of reassurance for the prospect. Michael Bradley explained, “He’s still an 18-year-old kid, an 18-year-old kid with a lot of talent and a lot of ability.”
Though he didn’t take over the game or score a goal last Wednesday, Green certainly impressed his constituents. American fans at home and abroad were drooling over the talent that the kid possesses. He is widely looked upon as the next big thing, but it will take some time and patience for us to see his play come to fruition. It’s important not to raise the bar too high for the young star, because we’ve seen others falter under the limelight (Freddy Adu comes to mind). Still, for America’s fastest growing sport, a homegrown talent is certainly welcomed with open arms.
A few days after the match against Mexico, it was rumored that Green had suffered an injury of some sort. That was confirmed earlier today by Bayern press officer Markus Horwick, who told MLSsoccer.com, “Julian has a shoulder dislocation. He is doing a little rehab, but mostly he will need to rest for about three weeks.”
After his performance against Mexico, questions will persist regarding Green’s status for the 2014 World Cup Team. It is quite obvious that he is a fan favorite, but Jurgen Klinsmann cannot base his roster decisions on popularity if the team is to make it out of the so called “death group.” It is still premature to state his odds of making the World Cup roster, but with Brek Shea and Brad Davis underwhelming, it’s certainly Green’s job for the taking.