Actually, four years ago to the date, a young 18-year-old Green was named to the U.S. World Cup squad. He definitely made his mark in the World Cup, scoring against Belgium in the knockout round on his first touch. After that World Cup, he gave the fans a glimmer of hope.
Fast forward four years, Green has had a bumpy road for both club and country. The pressure kept growing and he was not able to really enjoy the game and play like he was used to. At USMNT training on Tuesday, Green spoke about his recent club campaign and how he was able to be himself again.
“I felt it in myself. I felt every game I got better and better,” Green said. “I just feel more comfortable on the pitch. It was a very important season for me so now, for me, I moved up my game a little bit. The season was very important for me.
This past season he was loaned to 2. Bundesliga side Greuther Fürth, where he was able to get on the field and contribute. He managed three goals and one assist this season, but more importantly, he grew in confidence and started to find his form. Saving his club from relegation, Green brilliantly capped off a promising campaign.
Now, back with the national team, Green is looking to carry that form over and really revive his international soccer career. When asked about his long time away from the national team Green responded with, “It hasn’t been frustrating...Of course, I always want to be here and play with the national team, but I moved from Bayern [Munich] to Stuttgart and it was more important than to be here. I would say last season was very good for me. I played every game and now I’m back here. It’s perfect for me and I will continue.”
From a U.S. Soccer aspect, it actually has been frustrating because what once was a star in the making is no more. However, a necessary change of scenery might have been the catalyst that revives Green’s solid place on the USMNT because now, there’s a ton of young talent that is ready to carry the load. The weight of the future of the program no longer lies on just Green’s shoulders. This training camp going on in Philadelphia and friendly versus Bolivia is a big one for Green. Here’s hoping he makes the most of this chance and is able to bounce back.