Grab a bottle of champagne, light up a cigar and shoot off fireworks -- Julian Green has chosen to play for the United States.
The 18-year-old Bayern Munich starlet has filed a one-time switch to join the U.S. and once it is approved, he will be able to play in matches for the Americans and only the Americans. Germany, and any other country, will be not be an option anymore. Until then, he can only train with the team.
Green was born to an American father and German mother, making him eligible for both countries, but he was raised in Germany and as a star for the Bayern Munich academy, he was long considered likely to choose the Germans. The forward even played for Germany youth teams, competing in a U-19 European Championship qualifier just last year, but he has been heavily courted by the U.S.
Jurgen Klinsmann has been in constant contact with Green and his father has been very public about his desire to see his son wear red, white and blue. Earlier this month, Green joined the U.S. for training in Frankfurt, the first sign that the U.S. was very much in the mix for the 18-year-old, and he got clearance from Bayern Munich to join the Americans for training again next month in Phoenix, another hint that Klinsmann's efforts were paying off.
Now, when he joins the U.S. for training he will do so as a permanent member of the American program.
Because Green has played for Germany before, he will have to file a one-time switch before he can play for the U.S. in a match. FIFA sometimes gets through the paperwork and approves the switch in as quickly as two weeks, which would make him eligible to play against Mexico on April 2, but odds are that it will take longer so he won't get the chance to play for the Americans until May.
Green is considered one of the best players from Bayern Munich academy, having recently signed a professional contract and made his senior team debut, a cameo appearance at the end of a Champions League match. He has been excellent for Bayern Munich II, which plays in the German fourth division, and is considered a versatile forward who can play up top or on either wing, but is normally deployed on the left, where he cuts in and has been complimented on his nose for goal.
For all the talk about Freddy Adu, Jonathan Spector or any other young player, no American has ever come through an academy as good as Bayern Munich's, earned a professional contract and been this highly touted a prospect. This is the best the U.S. has ever had.