Julian Green focused on breaking in with Bayern Munich: "I want to be future of USMNT"
Julian Green may have just joined up with Bayern Munich after a three-week post-World Cup break. He may still be waiting to have to his first chat with Pep Guardiola. But there’s no doubt the 19-year-old knows what he wants from this season.
Green wants a chance to play for one of the best teams in world soccer.
With that in mind, the World Cup debutant had to be pleased when he saw Guardiola was planning on keeping him in red and white in 2014-15 instead of sending him out on loan, where playing time might be more readily available than with the reigning Bundesliga champions.
“I’m not thinking about a loan,” Green said during a conference call with reporters on Monday. “Right now I’m playing for Bayern Munich, and I’m happy about that. I want to stay.”
Green, who said a lingering knee injury that briefly kept him out of training was no longer an issue, is expected to "play as much as possible” on Bayern Munich's trip to the United States, according to Guardiola, as Green attempts to break into the first-team squad during his second season under the Catalan manager.
After bursting onto the scene at Bayern this time last year, when he scored seven goals during the club’s preseason preparations, Green continued his rapid rise by parlaying that notoriety into a spot on Jurgen Klinsmann’s 23-man roster in Brazil and becoming the United States’ youngest World Cup goalscorer.
Still, Green faces an uphill battle for playing time on a team that boasts a significant chunk of Germany’s World Cup-winning squad, though he should get opportunities to impress in New York when Bayern take on Mexican club Chivas Guadalajara on July 31 at Red Bull Arena (8 pm ET | PURCHASE TICKETS HERE) and Portland during the AT&T MLS All-Star Game (Aug. 6 at Providence Park, 9:30 pm ET).
“I just want to show the coach and the team that I can help them,” Green said. “If I get my chance, I’ll try my best. I’m waiting for my chance.”
“The relationship [with Guardiola] is very good,” he added. “I feel the trust with him, and it’s very important for a young player to feel the trust from the coach. I want to repay the trust from him.”
Green did just that with the USMNT, delivering on Klinsmann’s faith by scoring an extra-time goal against Belgium in the Round of 16 with his first touch of the tournament. The US may have fallen 2-1, but the future was on display for all to see with DeAndre Yedlin and John Anthony Brooks also impressing.
“I just want to try my best with the national team,” Green said. “I’m happy to be a part of this team. Of course, I want to be the future of the US men’s national team. But it’s all about me. I have to score goals and be good on the field.”
His next chance with the US will come on Sept. 3 in Prague against the Czech Republic as Klinsmann begins the long process of building for Russia 2018. Klinsmann said publicly followed the Americans’ exit that the next year would be largely used to blood the squad’s young players, a policy Green is, unsurprisingly, on board with wholeheartedly.
“I think it’s very important to give the young guys a chance to play,” he said. “I think we did a good job – me or DeAndre Yedlin or John Anthony Brooks. We have a lot of young, good players, and I’m looking forward to playing with them.”
First, though, he’ll get a chance to play a “special game” against his international teammates on the big stage in the US, a stage he saw explode with passion for the game and the national team before, during and after the national team's much-hyped run in Brazil.
“I know all the players from the MLS. I know how good they are,” Green said. “Of course, the football in America is getting bigger and bigger.”