GREEN PICKS THE USA
Bayern Munich's German-American forward Julian Green has decided to play for the United States national team over Germany, the United States Soccer Federation announced on Tuesday.
They added that the Florida-born youngster has handed in his paperwork to FIFA to make his change of association.
"Obviously this was a big decision, and I spent a long time discussing it with my family," said Green on the USSF's official website. "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."
The 18-year-old, who had recently spent two days training with the U.S. national in Frankfurt, Germany, prior to their exhibition game against Ukraine, is required to apply for the one-time change as he has played in official competition with Germany's under-19 team.
Green told the USSF website that the biggest reason for his decision to play for the United States was his experience with the team in Frankfurt.
"All the players were super nice and welcomed me from the beginning," he 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."
It is not known yet when Green's paperwork will be approved by FIFA, but he has been invited to participate in training camp with the U.S. ahead of its game with Mexico on April 2.
The Tampa native, who was strongly pursued by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, was first invited to train with the national team in November last year. However, he declined at that time.
Green's decision to play for the United States could give him an outside chance of being selected for Klinsmann's 23-man roster for this summer's World Cup in Brazil.