In a little over a month, one of the most highly anticipated events in sports will take place. It's the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. In the 2010 edition, the US Men's National Team suffered a heartbreaking loss at the hands of Ghana. In 2011, the US hired former German football (soccer) star Jürgen Klinsmann to be their new manager. Klinsmann has brought new energy and an aggressive, attacking style to the Yanks. He has been a critical part of promoting football in the United States both on and off the pitch.
One advantage of having Klinsmann is his ability to recruit players throughout Europe and especially in his former home Germany that have US eligibility. One of the Klinsmann's biggest gets lately is the promising 18-year-old Julian Green. Green was born in Tampa, FL, to an American father and German mother. Early in his childhood, he moved to Germany and grew up playing football there. Because of his parents' respective ethnic backgrounds, Green has dual citizenship.
Green took a major step forward in his young and blooming professional career when he signed with FC Bayern Munich in 2013 and actually got playing time against Champions League opponent CSKA Moscow. He was happy with his new, promising club career, but, with the World Cup fast approaching this summer, Green wanted to pursue international play as well.
However, Green was faced with a problem. He could either stick with the hometown German powerhouse squad or go to an up-and-coming team led by a brand new manager who was just trying to produce more interest in the States in a game they call "soccer."
His decision largely came down to family ties in the US. His father still resided in Florida. Green visited the USMNT in camp and felt welcome and happy after spending time with Klinsmann and the crew. When Klinsmann heard the news of Green's decision, he was ecstatic that Green decided to spend his international future in the red, white, and blue. Klinsmann had high praise for Green whom he refers to as a "very special talent."
The 5-8, 132-pounder has been deemed by many as a child prodigy. Green plays forward and wing and is known for his speed and agility. He has excellent control of the ball and is thus a good dribbler. He not only can beat opponents one-on-one with solo goals but also can set up his teammates for success. Green is a guy that can contribute to the US team now but even more so in the future.
Overall, I believe Green might very well be a future star for the US. It's still hard to tell at this stage because Julian is still so young. Make no mistake though, this kid is a special player. He will be relied on not only to perform in Brazil but also to pick up the slack once veterans like Donovan and Dempsey are long gone. This is a big step forward for both Green and the Yanks. Hopefully, Green does what he is capable of doing and sees success for the US on the pitch for years to come.
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