World Cup Star Julian Green eager to prove himself to Bayern Munich

julian-green-bayern-munichJulian Green didn’t get a lot of playing time for the USA men’s soccer team during the 2014 World Cup. But when the 19-year-old did see the field, he made every minute count after scoring the lone goal in a 2-1 knockout round loss to Belgium. After proving himself in the World Cup, the next step for Green will be staying on with one of the best soccer clubs in the world, Bayern Munich.

Despite his young age, the German-American hopes that he can make the Bundesliga league champions’ roster, rather than being sent out on loan. “I’m not thinking about a loan,” Green said. “Right now I’m playing for Bayern Munich, and I’m happy about that. I want to stay.”

If there’s one thing that Green can take solace in, it’s that head coach Pep Guardiola plans on keeping him in a Bayern red and white jersey. Guardiola even commented that he wants the youngster to “play as much as possible” on the team’s preseason tour in America.

Of course, this isn’t to say that Green won’t have to play well in the coming weeks. His first chance will be when Bayern takes on the Mexican club Chivas Guadalajara on July 31st in suburban New York. Then he’ll play against many of his teammates from the USA team on August 6th, when the Munich squad takes on the MLS All-Stars.

julian-green-bayern-munich julian-green-bayern-munich-1“I just want to show the coach and the team that I can help them. If I get my chance, I’ll try my best. I’m waiting for my chance.” Green added, “The relationship (with Guardiola) is very good. I feel the trust with him, and it’s very important for a young player to feel the trust from the coach. I want to repay the trust from him.”

In addition to preparing for Bayern’s upcoming season, Green will also reconnect with Team USA on September 3rd, when they take on the Czech Republic. This match will begin the Americans’ long journey towards Russia and the 2018 World Cup. Jurgen Klinsmann has said publicly that the goal of this first year’s World Cup qualification will be to break in the new players.

This means that we’ll see a healthy dose of Green, DeAndre Yedlin and John Brooks, three players who got to shine against Belgium. Green commented on this by saying, “I think it’s very important to give the young guys a chance to play. I think we did a good job – me or DeAndre Yedlin or John Anthony Brooks. We have a lot of young, good players, and I’m looking forward to playing with them.”

But for now, the immediate goal remains sticking with Bayern Munich and finding playing time on an elite European club – one that boasts plenty of players from Germany’s World Cup champion squad.

US Coach Jurgen Klinsmann: “We cannot win” 2014 World Cup

jurgen-klinsmannHaving coached the German National Team and Bayern Munich, Jurgen Klinsmann has overseen some of the most talented soccer players in the world. So he’s pretty good at judging top talent when he sees it. This being the case, what he recently said about the US Men’s National Team may dishearten American fans. Moreover, it might make those who’ve already engaged in 2014 US World Cup betting a little sick to hear. However, the following words that he told the New York Times come across truthfully:

We cannot win this World Cup, because we are not at that level yet. For us, we have to play the game of our lives seven times to win the tournament. Realistically, it is not possible.

A Long-Term Plan

As the NY Times article points out, soccer fans are not quite like NFL enthusiasts, where they expect success immediately. Instead, national teams are content to build a program over time, rather than sacrifice the future for quick success.

team-usa-soccerThis is a big reason why Klinsmann chose to keep several younger, unknown players on his roster. He even cut Landon Donovan, the team’s all-time leader in goals and assists, to clear up some more space on the 23-man roster. For many, this proved to be an unpopular move because Donovan is not only considered a US soccer hero, but his skills were also regarded as good enough for a USMNT spot.

With a guaranteed contract on through the 2018 World Cup, Klinsmann has plenty of time to let his vision slowly unfold. The German’s aim is to get the younger players some experience while trying to win a match or too. But in Klinsmann’s eyes, the former is the ultimate goal here.

Evaluating USA’s Chances at the 2014 World Cup

Perhaps another reason why the head coach doesn’t foresee immediate success for this team is because of their group play draw. The US is lumped in with Germany, Ghana and Portugal in what some have called this year’s “Group of Death.” Germany and Portugal especially stick out because they both sit in the top 3 of FIFA’s rankings.

Most predict that these two countries will be advancing out of the pool. Even Ghana could prove to be a difficult matchup for USA since they’ve given the red, white and blue plenty of fits in the past. So Klinsmann’s admission that they can’t win the World Cup is likely accurate, because they probably won’t even advance to the knockout round.

The USMNT might take solace in getting three ties at the 2014 World Cup. Of course, this doesn’t mean they have no chance to move on to the knockout stage. But like Klinsmann, US fans should temper their expectations this time around.