REUTERS - Bayern Munich winger Julian Green, who has represented both Germany and the United States at the youth level, has pledged his international allegiance to America, U.S. Soccer said on Tuesday.
A dual citizen, Green was born in the United States and raised in Germany. His father is American and his mother German.
Green represented Germany at the Under 16, Under 17 and Under 19 levels, and the United States at Under 18s but said he was applying to the world's governing body FIFA for a one-time change of association so he can commit to the United States.
If his application is approved, the 18-year-old could be eligible to play for the United States at this year's World Cup in Brazil.
"Obviously this was a big decision, and I spent a long time discussing it with my family," Green said in a statement.
"I was born in Florida and my father still lives there, so I have deep roots in the U.S. I'm very proud to be representing the United States."
U.S. head coach Juergen Klinsmann, who was part of the German team that won the 1990 World Cup, said he was delighted that Green had opted to play for his country of birth.
"As we have said, he is a very special talent. We wanted him to feel comfortable with our program and listen to his heart when making this decision," Klinsmann said.
"I personally want to thank Kalle Rummenigge and everyone at Bayern Munich for their support through this process. He is an exciting player with a tremendously bright future."
Green was recently invited to join the U.S. team camp before their friendly against Ukraine and said the experience convinced him that he should play for the United States.
He cannot play for the United States until his application has been approved but has been invited to join the team in a training camp before their next friendly versus Mexico in April.
"A big part of the decision was the experience I had in Frankfurt. All the players were super nice and welcomed me from the beginning," Green said.
"Clint Dempsey gave me a jersey with my name on it, and the way they supported me gave me a lot of belief. The coaches have shown a lot of trust in me, and now I hope to do everything I can to earn a spot on the World Cup roster."
(Reporting by Julian Linden in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)
- Sports & Recreation
- United States
- Bayern Munich