World Cup: Bayern Munich's Julian Green chooses USMNT over Germany
That escalated quickly.
Julian Green, Bayern Munich's German-American winger who has been choosing which of the two countries to represent over the 18 months, has decided to wear the Red, White and Blue. USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced the news on Twitter this afternoon:
“We are absolutely thrilled that Julian Green has chosen to be a part of the U.S. National Team Programs!"
— Jürgen Klinsmann (@J_Klinsmann) March 18, 2014
U.S. Soccer later confirmed the news in a release, adding that Green has applied to FIFA for a onetime change in international eligibility and that the process should be completed "in the coming weeks."
That followed up reports by SI.com's Grant Wahl Tuesday morning morning that Green would join the US for training ahead of next month's friendly vs. Mexico, and ESPN's Taylor Twellman that U.S. Soccer would announce Green's intent to represent the US sometime in the next 24-48 hours.
It took much less time than that.
"We are absolutely thrilled that Julian has chosen to be a part of the US national team programs," Klinsmann said in a statement. "As we have said, he is a very special talent. We wanted him to feel comfortable with our program and listen to his heart when making this decision. I personally want to thank Kalle Rummenigge and everyone at Bayern Munich for their support through this process. He is an exciting player with a tremendously bright future."
Green has previously represented Germany at the U-16, U-17 and U-19 levels, and has suited up once for the US in the youth ranks. He was first called up by Klinsmann for the full US national team last November, but the need to file a onetime switch prevented him from suiting up for the US in friendlies vs. Scotland and Austria.
Klinsmann called him to camp earlier this month ahead of the friendly against Ukraine, and Green trained with the USMNT for the first time in Frankfurt, Germany, but was not eligible to suit up in the match, held in Cyprus.
He should have no such troubles next month against Mexico.
"A big part of the decision was the experience I had in Frankfurt," Green said in a statement. "All the players were super nice and welcomed me from the beginning. Clint Dempsey gave me a jersey with my name on it, and the way they supported me gave me a lot of belief. 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."
The youngster has yet to suit up for Bayern's first team in the Bundesliga, but made his official debut with the first team this winter against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League and is the star of the Bayern reserves in the German fourth flight. He played several times for the reigning UEFA Champions League winners in last summer's preseason heading into the current campaign.
Green, 18, was born in Tampa, Fla., to an American father and German mother and moved with his family to Germany at the age of two. He joins a host of other German-Americans, including mainstays Jermaine Jones and Fabian Johnson, as well as fringe national teamers John Brooks, Terrence Boyd, Danny Williams, Timothy Chandler and Alfredo Morales.
He is also the second dual-national to choose the US over a European country under Klinsmann, following in the footsteps of striker Aron Johannsson, who picked the US over Iceland.