Julian Green made a very smart decision by choosing to play internationally for Team USA and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
The Bayern Munich teenager is a dual citizen who decided to play internationally for the U.S. in March. Once FIFA approved his change of association, Green was cleared to play for Team USA. He'll likely see his first action with the team on Wednesday, April 2 in the team's friendly against Mexico in Phoenix.
This match represents Team USA's final one until May, the same time that preliminary rosters for the World Cup are due.
By deciding to play internationally at the right time, Green has put himself in a very good position to potentially make the World Cup team with a strong showing in Wednesday's friendly.
Green is the type of talent that can make an immediate impact, though it might take a little while to assimilate to his new team. Klinsmann is doing his best to make sure everyone tempers their expectations regarding the young star, via Kelly Whiteside of USA Today: "We don't want to put any type of pressure on him or too high expectations. At the end of the day, he's a player to be developed. How fast everything can proceed is up to him."
In all likelihood, Klinsmann recruited Green heavily to come play for him. Klinsmann was a former coach of Bayern Munich and even played on the German national team, so he understood the difficult decision Green had to make to come to the States.
Green went against the grain in choosing to play for the United States so early in his career. Most players that come from Germany to play in the U.S.—Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson, Terrence Boyd, etc.—do so at the end of their careers when playing for Germany isn't a realistic option.
It appears as if Green is determined to establish a legacy of sorts with Team USA, and that's something Klinsmann should be very pleased with. His talent will only continue to grow as he becomes accustomed to his new teammates, and that's bad news for the competition.
Green can no longer return to play for Germany because he played for the country in official youth competitions in the past. This makes him a future mainstay on the U.S. roster.
Spoke to USMNT staff after Frankfurt camp. Unanimous in praise for Green. One guy puffed out his cheeks and told me "believe the hype."— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) March 19, 2014
But where exactly does Green fit on the depth chart? His competition for a spot on the roster will likely come down to the likes of Brek Shea, Joe Corona and Boyd, so he'll really need to work hard to grab a spot.
Even if he makes the team, though, Green might not see a single minute of time in the World Cup. Klinsmann could choose to go with his veteran players rather than entrusting Green with important time. Taking him for the roster would be a smart move for his development—seeing the World Cup from the bench first-hand would do wonders for the youngster's career—but Klinsmann might not want to waste a spot.
Clearly, there's a dilemma.
There's no doubt that Green profiles as a big-time prospect for Team USA, but I don't think he'll make his impact felt in this World Cup. When the next one rolls around, though, expect him to be ready.
Green has a chance to be the next face of U.S. men's soccer. He made an incredibly smart move by choosing to play for Klinsmann so early in his career.