World Cup: Julian Green accepts invitation to train with USMNT, but has not opted to switch yet
AMSTERDAM – Bayern Munich attack prodigy Julian Green has accepted Jurgen Klinsmann's offer to train with the US national team in Frankfurt, Germany, next month, MLSsoccer.com has learned. But that is not a sign that he has opted to declare for the USMNT over Germany.
German tabloid Bild reported in its Saturday edition that Green's invitation to camp ahead of the USMNT's March 5 friendly at Ukraine was a clear signal the youngster had his mind up with the intent of jumping into battle for a spot on this summer's World Cup roster.
Not only has Green yet to make such a choice, according to his agent, the capped Germany Under-19 international has yet to start paperwork on what would be a required FIFA allegiance switch.
"No decision [on his international future] has been made yet," Green's rep, Katharina Schrott, told MLSsoccer.com. "The only fact I am able to confirm is that he is going to train with the US team in Frankfurt."
The 18-year-old, who made his Bayern first-team debut with a UEFA Champions League cameo at CSKA Moscow last November, apparently was convinced to accept Klinsmann's invitation to join the team after a visit last week from USMNT assistant Andreas Herzog. Klinsmann first tried to get a camp look at Green ahead of friendlies against Scotland and Austria last November. As with that failed call-up, Green's US camp experience early next month cannot end in an international debut.
"He is not eligible to play in the friendly against Ukraine," USMNT press officer Michael Kammarman told MLSsoccer.com. "He would not be able to play for us until he completes a onetime switch with FIFA."
Later on Monday, Klinsmann confirmed the news via his official Twitter account:
— Jürgen Klinsmann (@J_Klinsmann) February 17, 2014
Green currently tops Bayern's fourth-flight U-23 side with 15 goals, good for second in the league. The Tampa-born winger/forward has also added six assists in 18 games this season.
While it may be a stretch to consider Green a threat to get high enough on the well-stacked US striker depth chart by May's World Cup roster deadline, various selection worries on the flank could conceivably give him an avenue to Brazil.
Some of Klinsmann's options for an impact wide player are dealing with injuries (such as DaMarcus Beasley and Josh Gatt), potential position changes brought on by a crisis elsewhere in the formation (Beasley, Fabian Johnson) and form-related concerns.
When his first call-up attempt was rescinded by Klinsmann in the fall, the US boss freely admitted he would try again later. Keeping his word on the matter, he will finally get to run the rule over Green in training – if not also to start a soft FIFA switch sales pitch.
"All of these conversations and attention can be a bit overwhelming for a young player," Klinsmann told U.S. Soccer's website last October. "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."
Before he turns to his national-team quandary, Green may take part in Bayern II's Feb. 21 friendly at Austrian second-division club Liefering. The Regionalliga Bayern leaders return to league play with a March 2 visit from Schalding-Heining.