One name that stands out on the United States U-23 squad is Julian Green of Bayern Munich. At 20, a lot of eyes are going to be on him as his squad gets ready for a home-and-home playoff with Colombia, with an Olympic berth at stake. Right now he's enjoying good form with 10 goals for Bayern Munich II after a loan spell last year at Hamburg. He also brings World Cup experience to the squad.
Oh, and he got a start in the UEFA Champions League for his club. Talk about having a one-on-one relationship with what it's like to play in a pressure cooker at that level of soccer.
He knows what's on the line, that much is evident.
"We know how important the Olympics are," Green said this week from U-23 MNT camp. "These are very, very important games for us and we want to be at the Olympics."
-Julian Green; Source: ussoccer.com
And he knows what he has to do on the field.
"The biggest thing I have to do is to score goals. That’s the most important thing for the team," he said. "That’s what I have to work to do."
Green is just one of twelve that were not a part of the team that placed 3rd in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying last year. Though he says that he watched from afar.
He's played in the World Cup, he started for Bayern Munich in a Champions League match and having a excellent run of form this season with the reserves. It's pretty obvious that his loan spell was worth it and it's starting to pay off a bit by bit. Remember he's only 20 , and he's already played in some big games.
He knows what has to be done, score goals - beat Colombia - go to the Olympics.
Things get started on Friday night at 5:00pm et on FS1 and Univision Deportes Network. The second leg will be played next Tuesday (March 29th) 8:30 ct in Frisco Texas. That game can be found on TV ESPN2.