5 Reasons Why Julian Green Should Make USA World Cup Squad
When United States men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann names his 23-man roster for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, one of the names he needs to give serious consideration to is Julian Green.
That might be surprising, considering that Green has only one international cap and little first-team club experience, but there are a number of reasons that he'd be a good choice.
Here are five reasons why Julian Green should make the U.S.'s World Cup squad.
He Can Help the Team
Certainly the most important reason that any player should be selected for a World Cup roster is that they can help their team win games. And while Green certainly has a lot to prove, the U.S. is going to need a spark plug off the bench.
On the wings, the U.S. will likely have Landon Donovan, Graham Zusi and Alejandro Bedoya to choose from. Donovan is still a great player, but he no longer has the speed that once helped him terrorize defenses. And Zusi, while he plays with great effort and provides excellent service from the flank, also tends to play the game at one speed.
Bedoya has gotten regular playing time in France this season, but he has had a series of underwhelming performances for the national team over the past several months.
The U.S. and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann are going to need someone off the bench who can provide a spark by running at defenders and creating chances.
It's hard to say with certainty that Green is the man for the job due to his lack of experience, but considering the U.S.'s other options, he's probably the best they've got.
He's (Probably) Better Than Brek Shea
It's hard to say for certain, considering his lack of international experience and first-team club experience, but it seems a reasonable argument that Green would help the team at least as much as Brek Shea.
Shea has been the U.S.'s spark plug through much of the Klinsmann era and done so with some success, influencing a number of games coming on as a late-minute substitute, especially against Mexico. But at the same time, Shea has a number of black marks against him.
In the past two years, Shea has only made five appearances for Stoke City and has played a grand total of 31 minutes this year in the English Premier League.
Finally, when Shea has been given longer stints of playing time with the U.S., his lack of possession skills or any ability to put in a decent cross have been evident.
He Plays for Bayern Munich
Although most of Green's experience with the German giants has been with their fourth-division reserve side, he has been called up on a number of occasions to train the first team and played in a number of friendlies with the top group. And considering that Bayern Munich is coached by perhaps the best manager in all of football in Pep Guardiola, the fact that he is trusted to contribute to first-team training sessions and preseason friendlies is an impressive vote of confidence.
Considering that it's likely Shea and Green are fighting for the same spot on the U.S. roster, it seems entirely reasonable that Green's club experience gives him the edge.
While the most pressing concern for picking anyone for this year's World Cup team should be their value to help the squad win games, one consideration that could be a factor with Green is the future of the USMNT.
Facing group-stage opponents in Germany, Portugal and Ghana, the U.S. is not favored to get out of its group. And with an aging cadre of attacking options, Green is one of the most promising prospects the U.S. has going forward.
Getting him some World Cup experience, even if it means little playing time and just going along for the ride, could pay dividends for the U.S. heading in 2018.
Give Him a Chance in Camp
Greene should still have to prove he's worthy of a place in the squad and needs to be given that chance during the U.S.'s World Cup training camp next month. At camp, he can prove that he's fully recovered from the shoulder injury he suffered against Mexico and battle head-to-head with the other players Klinsmann is considering to bring to Brazil to act as the U.S.'s spark plug off the bench.
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