US prodigy Julian Green on tour with Bayern Munich
First, teenage prodigy Julian Green impressed US coach Jurgen Klinsmann enough to get a surprising invite to the World Cup. Then he impressed the fans in Brazil – and back stateside – with a picturesque goal against Belgium.
Now he gets a chance to leave an impression on the most important soccer person in his life: Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola, who has promoted the 19-year-old winger/forward to the Bundesliga club’s first-team roster and brought him on the preseason tour of the US – which includes a July 31 stop at Red Bull Arena.
“I met Julian Green the last year, my first year as head coach at Bayern,’’ Guardiola said. “He was with us in preseason, and we were really impressed about his talents and his movement, his movements through the ball.
“I spoke three or four times throughout the year with the US coach, my dear friend Jurgen Klinsmann. I spoke to him about [Green’s] skills. He played in the World Cup, and when he played he showed his level, scoring a beautiful goal. Now he can make today his day.’’
Green – born in Florida to an American serviceman and a German mother – chose to represent his father’s home country, rather than his mother’s, where he was born instead of where he was raised. He got an unexpected invite to Brazil – a controversial roster pick largely viewed as coming at Landon Donovan’s expense – but Green later earned it.
The young attacker came off the bench in the Round of 16 and scored a world-class goal in the 2-1 loss to Belgium. It made him the youngest American to score in the World Cup, and the youngest player from any country to score since Argentina’s Lionel Messi in 2006. Not bad company.
Green – who made his first-team debut for Bayern Munich in a late UEFA Champions League tilt – still hasn’t appeared in a Bundesliga game. He aims to change that this season, starting with a good performance in the preseason.
“He will not be on the field for the next two or three days, but he’s going to travel in the US and we hope he’s growing fit and he can play as much as possible,” Guardiola said. “We’re so happy that he’s with us. It’s never easy to be in a big club and be in the first team, but he deserves to try.’’
Guardiola expects to keep the untested Green rather than send him out on a loan for seasoning.
“It depends on what players are coming in and what players are leaving,” Guardiola said. “I think today he’s going to stay. I know him; he’s training well. He’s a good guy. My first idea is he’ll stay.’’
Bayern Munich will face Club Deportivo Guadalajara at Red Bull Arena on July 31, then provide the opposition for the MLS All-Stars in Portland on Aug. 6. Guardiola has been impressed by the US National Team and with the improvements in the domestic league.
“I think the United States took a step forward [from] this misconception about the football they play just being so aggressive, so intense and they’re just physically stronger,” he said. “I was really impressed by the backline, the movement was really, really good. They qualified for the next step out of a difficulty group. The US is a reality in the football world.
“The league is better than before. That is a fact.’
Source: NY Post