Recent Bayern Munich acquisition Julian Green may someday bring the United States Men's National Team the pure scoring threat it has lacked for a long time.
Unfortunately, Americans are going to have to wait awhile to see what Green can do. And they may be waiting forever.
Per Stephan Uersfeld of ESPN FC, the 18-year-old Green has scored 15 goals in 17 appearances with Bayern's reserves in the fourth-tier Bavarian Regional League.
Ordinarily a prospect like Green, who has already represented Germany at the under-19 level, would be of little concern to USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
But Green is a unique case, having been born to a German mother and an American father. Green is thus not completely out of the picture for the United States.
As reported by Jeff Carlisle of ESPN FC, Green could someday file a one-time switch with FIFA and declare himself an American player for international team football purposes.
Green's quasi-restricted-free-agent status explains why Klinsmann recently invited Green to participate in the USMNT November training camp, an invitation that Green gracefully but decisively declined.
“I feel honoured by the USA invitation, but it came too early," Green observed recently. "I have not made my final decision on whether to play for Germany or USA yet. That issue is still not settled."
Klinsmann is not apt to be deterred by this temporary setback, not if you take him at his word on what he thinks of Green as a player.
"Julian Green is a tremendous talent," Klinsmann noted. "We have been scouting him for more than two years... We believe we could help him grow into a special player."
A quick look at the USMNT roster's statistics in World Cup Qualifying in CONCACAF underscores what the addition of a pure goalscorer could mean for the Americans.
Landon Donovan and Chris Wondolowski have scored five goals apiece. Even if Wondolowski can sustain that sort of production, the Americans have to be mindful of Donovan's possible retirement from international football after the 2014 World Cup.
At 31, Donovan probably has few elite tournaments left in him anyway.
Which is why Klinsmann will have to keep Green and his representatives in close and constant contact.
It is not wild speculation to suggest that Green would constantly have to fight for his place on the German national team, a side that boasts handfuls of the sport's biggest names.
Conversely, Green projects to slot nicely into the American XI assuming his development at Bayern continues apace.
So Green may not be ready to don the red, white and blue just yet.
The Americans should probably save a place for him anyway.
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