Klinsmann remains in discussions with Green over international future

JulianGreenBayernMunich5 (Imago)

By DAN KARELL

Jurgen Klinsmann was unable to secure a commitment from Julian Green in November, but that doesn’t mean the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach hasn’t stopped trying.

With a new contract through 2018 in hand, Klinsmann is likely to continue recruiting a number of talented dual-national players to join the USMNT squad, including Green, who is currently with Bayern Munich at the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco. In an interview with SportBild magazine in Germany, Klinsmann said that he’s remained in contact with Green to try and recruit him into the USMNT setup in the future.

“We’re not pressuring him, but we’re still in talks to convince him to play for the USA one day,” Klinsmann told SportBild.

The 18-year-old Tampa, Fla. native has impressed many including Klinsmann and Bayern head coach Pep Guardiola since the summer. In the first half of the 2013/2014 season, Green has scored 15 goals in 18 appearances with the reserves and earned multiple opportunities to train with the Bayern first-team. He made his official first team debut on Nov. 27 at CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League.

Green made the controversial decision to originally accept an invitation last October to join the USMNT during their November camp in Europe, only to renege on his decision after learning that he’d have to file a one-time switch with FIFA to represent the U.S. even in a friendly. Currently, Green is still able to represent either the USA or Germany, and most recently played for Germany’s Under-19s in UEFA Under-19 Championship qualification in October.

Speaking about the World Cup next summer in Brazil, Klinsmann deflected any talk that the U.S. could finish last in Group G, termed by many a “Group of Death.”

“We don’t see ourselves as underdogs,” Klinsmann said. “”We won in Italy, played out a draw in Russia and won in Mexico for the first time in U.S. soccer history. We know that on a good day, we can take on the best in the world. We’re no longer a small footballing nation.”

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What do you think of this development? Glad to see that Klinsmann has continued to

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85 Responses to Klinsmann remains in discussions with Green over international future

  1. bryan says:

    ESPN spun the SportBild article as Green choosing the German U19s again. which, truthfully, is a big “DUH, why wouldn’t he? we already knew that.”

    • Landon Klinsman says:

      Sounds like he could take the field for U.S. in Brazil this summer, whereas there is no chance he plays for die mannschaft until 2018. It is a gamble for him.

      • Joamiq says:

        Well, not in the World Cup. But he could certainly play for them in 2015 or something (were he to progress that rapidly).

    • TomG says:

      The big angle here is that his Dad is a huge USMNT supporter so that lends a bit of hope, but given that he grew up in Germany, the discrepancy in level between the two and the travel differential, it would be surprising if he picks USA.

      • THomas says:

        That gives me hope if he respects his dad’s opinion. But you know how kids can be, always wanting to do opposite of what they’re told to.

    • chuck says:

      This. I don’t see why the insistence of having him NOW. Let him play Euros up to U-21, it will be better for his development and then he’ll make the desicion. The odds of him being good enough for Germany are historically dim.

      • Eurosnob says:

        The odds of him being good enough for Germany are not dim – at 18, he already played with Bayern’s first team in a Champion’s league fixture. Guardiola wouldn’t have fielded him unless he saw something special in Green. He and Brooks are the two players with dual eligibility that I would really love to get – both have real potential to develop into world class players.

  2. Drew says:

    So pretty much assuming that if we dont make it out of the group stages in June, he wont be joining the US.

    • Adam says:

      Why do you think that our progression out of the group will be the deciding factor in which country he represents?

      • Drew says:

        Considering he is playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world, I recon he’d want to play for one of the most successful country’s in the world. USA not making it out of the group stage probably wouldn’t be a good look.

        • kev says:

          I’m imagine he’s not so dumb as to use that for his criteria, and has more information at his disposal.

          • GW says:

            You don’t really think Drew sees Green as dumb do you? I’m sure Drew can see that the kid is what 18?

            And already he is employed by one of the biggest, most prestigious teams in the world and already has “representation”. If things go well he will soon be very well off. He has been very careful about this whole international business. He is apparently bilingual, a good indicator of a reasonable level of intelligence. Apparently, he spent a lot of time in Tampa, not my favorite town but still in America the last time I checked.

            He does not seem like an idiot, 18 year old moron.

        • GW says:

          Playing for Bayern actually could work in the US’ favor.

          I don’t know how much Bayern will try to influence Green’s choice but if they do one would think they would want Green to pick the US.

          Bayern are making a big move to expand their brand worldwide ( see All Star game, MLS). Their marketing people must surely realize the value of having a US international as a potential regular player.

          That would be a sure fire shirt seller.

          Bayern already have lots of German internationals.

    • Gary Page says:

      I have always been fascinated by people who think they can read minds, even of people thousands of miles away. Let us know how you do that.

  3. Madden's Chin says:

    This would be a coup of epic, narrative-defining proportions. This would be a milestone in US Soccer.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Why don’t we wait until the kid plays a first-team league match before we make these kind of statements?

      • Todd Marsch says:

        I agree. I’ve never seen Green play, so maybe he is the next Messi, but we’ve had players on the USMNT before who came up through the youth academies of big teams and never set the world on fire or completely changed the fortunes of the US. Kirovski and Spector come to mind.

        It’s more of a numbers game than relying on one specific player to push us to the next level. The more young players we have in MLS academies and the better those academies are, the better the chances of a few of those graduates becoming world class players. The more young players we have in European and Mexican academies, the better the chances of a few of those guys becoming world class players. If we get a group of world class players coming through at the same time, then we start making waves. If we consistently have world class players coming onto the NT, then we’re a real contender.

        Julian Green’s commitment one way or the other doesn’t change much.

      • RP says:

        An 18 year old with 15 goals for Bayern’s reserve team?
        That’s like saying.. don’t pick Andrew Luck he’s only done well in the Pac12. Why don’t we wait until he’s good in the NFL.
        Its guys like you, that are the reason why some teams remain terrible. They don’t see the ones with potential and seize it.

        • slowleftarm says:

          Haha, that’s funny. Of course, I’m not saying he won’t be good, only saying that convincing him to play for the USMNT isn’t necessarily going to change the course of soccer in this country like some seem to believe.

      • Gary Page says:

        It’s the internet. Many people seem to think that requires them to leap to conclusions even when they know next to nothing about the subject.

        • Helium-3 says:

          Like the majority of posters here who don’t even play the game but are experts at it.

          Sort of like a PhD writing for the NE Journal of Medicine but never practiced as a doctor. Likewise a JD writing for the Harvard Law Review but never practiced as a lawyer.

    • blokhin says:

      remember how epic it was when USMNT got Terrence Boyd to commit?! That was epic! He was scoring a ton of goals for the reserve team at Dortmund (the 2nd best team in Germany for a while now) and then….. he was not re-signed, even as young and promising player who had a track record at the junior level…

      Julian Green, whether he commits to USA or not, has to compete with Bayern’s existing players to gain a permanent spot on the team and whoever they could conceivably bring in-which is pretty much anyone from anywhere in the world, at any price. Bayern’s and every other top notch team’s management cares about winning now and if they’re not, curing that by throwing $$$ at it. Green has to rapidly develop and earn a first team spot or be shown the door and replaced by whoever the best 2-3 attacking playing in Germany are at any moment, since Bayern ends up buying those in bunches.

      USMNT fans can’t think of young players in Europe as equivalent to the set up in American sports, where rookies are given a few years to get experience and then be thrust into the starting line up, or even go to the minors to develop like in hockey and baseball. Green needs to prove that he is better today and not in a few years than Bayern’s current players to earn a spot on the team- don’t believe me? ask Spector, Kirovski, Boyd, Simek about how being at a top club as youth doesn’t mean Green would actually stick on the roster long-term

      • Eurosnob says:

        Good points, Blokhin, but Green has a lot more raw talent than Spector, Kirosvski, Boyd, et al. None of those players were viewed as potential stars by European clubs. However, Guardiola played Green at the tender age of 18 in a Champions league game and also brought him to the Club WC as a replacement for Robben. No, Green is not ready to be on the first team at Bayern yet and there are no future guarantees, but these call ups should tell us something about how highly Bayern value his potential.

  4. Nihal says:

    I think if he gets some good playing time with Bayern or on loan with a first division team, we should bring him into the WC camp.

    • Louis Z says:

      ???? can’t you read?
      he can’t until he commits to us.

      • Nihal says:

        I know that haha, I’m saying we should invite him to camp. It would be hard for him to turn down a WC spot imo.

      • Adam says:

        In spite of the wording in this article, I believe he can train with USMNT without making the switch but he cannot play in a game.

        And by the way, how about some respect and politeness. I am sure you have missed something in an article as well.

      • Todd T. says:

        Actually I might be wrong but he could come into camp but can not play in any games. I am not sure why he would do this. I do not think that the US camp is so innovative(albeit I am sure it is quite good) that it would take an indecisive 18 year old and make him switch allegiances. Taking him out on the town filled with models, celebrities and excess…in NYC or LA might get it done.

        • GW says:

          Todd T.

          Have you ever had a job interview or brought in job candidates for a job interview?

          While I agree that he probably wouldn’t come to camp if he could not play in a game, ( although Morales did) there is still a lot of very vital stuff he could learn.

          Mainly, the locker room.

          If he commits to the US he might want to know what kind of teamates he is likely to have, how those guys are as people, how the coaching staff interacts with players, what the level of the facilites the team usually expects to work with, the sort of behind the scenes stuff that is crucial but can only be known by visiting with the team.

          That stuff matters.

  5. USMNT Fan says:

    Behind Donovan the USMNT does not have a LM option. F. Johnson will be needed at LB and E. Johnson is a third option at F. This leaves the backup LM option up for grabs for Shea (not even on the bench for Stoke), Davis (not enough pace), and Julian Green.

    • Brain Guy says:

      E. Johnson at LM would be a dire sign indeed.

      • danny says:

        Klinsman has said that F. Johnson will be left mid and he has consistently played him there in recent games. We need his offense too much and he seems to work well with the rest of the attack. Apparently Klinsman actually believes in Beasley as left back.

        • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

          There are some dark horse contenders here for surprise inclusion. One of them is Chris Pontius. If he has a good start to the next MLS season, he has to be considered.

          Also, doesn’t Luis Gil play the left wing?

        • GW says:

          “Apparently Klinsman actually believes in Beasley as left back.”

          How many games has the US lost because DMB was the left back?

          Has the US played badly when DMB is the left back?

          • slowleftarm says:

            US may have a good record with DMB at left back but it sure isn’t because he played well. We need a real left-back come world cup time, not a winger playing out of position.

    • Joamiq says:

      Zusi and Bedoya are both options there.

    • Gary Page says:

      I seem to recall that A Johannsson played left wing in one of the last friendlies. I like that option with F Johnson at left back better than F Johnson at left mid and Beasley at left back or having E Johnson at left mid.

  6. AcidBurn says:

    Klinsy having a contract until 2018 means that he can afford to take some risks in putting together his WC 2014 team. Why doesn’t he throw the final spot at Green and tell him to come with us to the WC?

    Whisper in his ear that he is in our plans for 2018 and Klinsy wants him to get a taste in 2014. Ronaldo went to the WC in 1994 to sit on the bench and Kaka went in 98 as well to sit on the bench. You have a big time talent, you bring him in to get a taste of the WC.

    I mean the guy can get on the field for the best club in the world, you don’t think he can beat out Brek Shea for the final roster spot? I don’t care how young he is.

    • Clint says:

      True dat.

    • Jurgen Donovan says:

      i dig it

    • GW says:

      Have you seen him play?

      He certainly appears promising and it seems like JK would not go out on such a limb if he wasn’t certain this kid would be the real deal. Still, there are no guarantees.

      Teams that add a young guy at the 23rd spot on their WC squads are rare. England did it when Sven brought Walcott to the 2006 WC but he did not play and I’m pretty sure everyone said it was a wasted move.

      In 1994 Brazil brought 17 year old Ronaldo to the WC in the US. He did not play but they went on to win the Cup that year. But then again they are Brazil.

    • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

      Not a bad idea. Precedent was set sometime ago by many a better footballing nations.

    • RP says:

      If he’s getting added to Bayern’s Champions League roster. He is ready to be considered for a Brazil spot sight unseen. Brek can’t even get on the 23 for Stoke.

      And I agree about putting him on the Brazil roster in the way many others have brought their prodigy / biggest upside potential player.

      The way I see it, Klinsmann can tell him.. look with Germany you are years away from first team play.. and at the end of it all, you will be another cog in that machine. But with the US, the US is on a cusp of turning into a strong football nation. You could lead that charge and forever be known in the US as a founding / influential USMNT player (and getting all of the soon to be lucrative USA commercial contracts).

    • dude says:

      That would be the pressure that JK is looking to avoid. It might sound tempting to be in a World Cup squad, but realistically, he’s probably not going to play, given the cut throat path the US has to navigate even in the group stage. He’s too smart to take that offer, but might still be willing to listen to the silver tongued JK into next cycle. That’s the smart move.

      In the end, he’s going to decide to play for the country that he feels comfortable with. That’s not going to happen on a plane ride to Brazil.

  7. Lost in Space says:

    While I’d love it if he were to align himself with the USMNT and believe he could be a major asset for years to come, IF he does stay with the German national team it won’t be the end of the world.
    There are a number of tallented duel naionals that JK should be targeting for the 2018 cycle…they may not be as able to help immediately (2014), but there are other quality players who can & will show up in the next 4 years.

  8. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Not a big fan of JK’s coaching, but I am a fan of his salesmanship. Kudos to him if he pulls this off.

  9. Sounder4life says:

    Is this what it has come to? Begging a 3rd division Bundesliga player to pick the US?
    #thereisnohope

    • Madden's Chin says:

      3rd division?

      He just played for Bayern’s first team in the Champions League. Kid is the real deal to impress Guardiola enough to bring him up.

      • slowleftarm says:

        Teams frequently bring up reserves and youth players to play in champions league games they don’t care about.

    • Joamiq says:

      Is there no hope because Seattle hasn’t invented it yet?

  10. bob the builder says:

    Kinsman’s contract extension should help him in recruiting the dual-national players… I can definitely see Julian green playing for the USMNT U-23 in the 2016 Olympics.

  11. Ross says:

    He’s the kind of player who could be the surprise WC roster pick. He has the talent and plays a position we don’t have a lot of depth at. You can take more of a gamble with an offensive player then on a defensive player who would need time to gel with his teammates. Mistakes by offensive players are less dangerous then by defensive ones.
    Mo matter how good he is, the fact is only so many players make the German national team. He could be the 25th best player in Germany yet never see the field. Or see it very sporadically. He could be a lock starter for us for 10 years.
    It’s more like being a bench player for Germany vs starting for the US.

  12. Simpson says:

    There is no possible way that he is worse than Brek Shea. Offer him a spot in the WC and see if he takes it.

  13. John says:

    Hold up Dan, Green made the controversial decision to “accept” the invite Klinsmann thew his way? Are we sure about that? Because the only official statement out of the Green camp said that they had received the invite but had decided to not accept it at the time.

  14. Ben says:

    I think this is mainly about our utter lack of wing play. Klinsmann is desperate; we don’t have a ton of speed on the outside of the midfield, and we need it. I don’t think we are going to get Green, but we need someone to offer speed on the outside of the midfield.

    • Bobeto says:

      If he makes the German National Team he has become a bigger superstar then all those mega jocks you mentioned (in all of Europe). You just don’t comprehend the magnitude of football (soccer) around the rest of the world. The Superstar status (imagine only 1 major sport in US and your one of the best) he will be given is larger then any of the players you mentioned. Players are “gods” in other countries. No competition from other sports to dim their spotlights!

  15. flagermunsen. says:

    Let’s assume Jurgen wants to cap tie the young man ASAP… don’t know if that’s the objective, but play a long.

    Jurgen should ask David Hasselhof, MJ, JayZ (could rep the young man), Kobe and/or LeBron or any other cultural or sporting icon who might make an impression all to make a phone call, send a text, or a Tweet to J. Green or his father. All the have to say is are you kidding? Look at the significance and potential of the USA market and who you could be if you were to lead this team to an Olympic medal and deep in the WC some day. If you do it for Germany, you are just one of many who have done that. There are still guys who never made the NHL making a meal off the Miracle on Ice.

  16. bryan says:

    Ives, the facebook post to this article states:

    “but that doesn’t mean the ‪#‎USMNT‬ head coach hasn’t stopped trying.”

    i believe this needs to be edited to:

    “but that doesn’t mean the ‪#‎USMNT‬ head coach has stopped trying.”

    saying it “doesn’t mean he hasn’t stopped trying” actually means he has stopped trying, right? the 2nd sentence rejects the idea he has stopped trying, which is what the intention was.

  17. Gary Page says:

    In all the discussion about giving Klinsmann the long term contract, I think this is an important aspect that has been left out. And it’s only part of the story. Not only does Klinsmann have an in with dual nationals out of Germany, he has contacts in Europe unlike any other previous US coach. Remember, he not only played in Germany, but also in France (played for Wenger and is still in contact with him apparently) and England as well as coached the German national team and Bayern Munich. He know people. He is friends with influential people. He can probably do a lot to help arrange for good US players to get decent placements in Europe. He is known around the world. If Bob Bradley had contacted this kid, do you think it would carry as much weight as Klinsmann who was a national hero? I don’t know if we will get this promising player, but because Klinsmann is the coach, I think we will have a much better chance than if we had a previous US coach. Since 1990 when I began following the US team, I have never felt this good about the future of U.S. soccer.

    • Adi from Oregon says:

      I at least brought-up part of this topic in the prior Klinsmann’s contract discussion in regard to his great ability of bringing talented German/US players into the USNMT. Your other points are also valid in what makes Klinsi a very good US coaching choice and, like you, am very optimistic about the advancement of US soccer.

  18. Brett says:

    If I were him, I would put my club career ahead of my international career.

    Being a North American international player would be a mark against him with some clubs, perhaps even the one he has worked so hard to develop through and break into.

    Playing with the DFB raises his profile in the domestic league. That’s good for his career.

    There will come a time when he will settle at a club and then will choose his international allegiance. Hopefully his heritage outweighs his environment and he goes with the country of his father. Whatever he chooses, I’m done holding grudges against players for their decisions.

  19. slowleftarm says:

    The US has qualified for seven straight world cups. In the last five world cups, the USMNT has made it out of the group stage three times, including a quarterfinal. While we aren’t a top 10 type of team yet, to borrow a JK phrase, we are well past the point as a soccer nation where we should be this desperate for a kid with 0 league games to his name to declare he’s playing for the US.

    My views on this are well known. This kind of thing devalues the international game in my opinion. However, everyone does it so we have to as well. However, I can promise you that if Green is as good as some you seem to think, he won’t be playing for the USMNT.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      it’s kind of funny, because your attitude would seem to indicate a healthy amount of national pride, yet you find it so hard to believe that other people (like terence boyd or julian green) would also have it (for either country). no, they’re just mercenaries who care only about how it affects their careers.

  20. user222 says:

    Julian’s father being a huge USMNT fan helps but in the end it’ll be his decision… I’m inclined to believe the kid just doesnt feel all committed to represent the red, white and blue. I dont blame him, maybe all of his childhood connections are in Deutschland even if he visits relatives in the US once a year.

    The only way he will commit to play for the US if JK throws him a BIG bone. JK must make Green part of this cycle and bring him to Brazil. Die Mannshaft wouldnt never take Green to Brazil as they have their system in place to appropriately introduce the youngsters to the national team. The only exception that I’ve seen is how quickly they brought in Gotze.

    If Green is not on the plane to Brazil, he will likely represent Germany’s senior team in the 2016 Euro Cup which is nothing short of playing in a World Cup.

    • jason says:

      Euro cup is the reason why US will never get to the top 10 consistently. i wish we could get invited to the Cup to play with the big boys.