FOX Soccer Exclusive: Julian Green opens up about decision to play for Team USA

March 20th, 2014

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Editor’s note: Julian Green spoke to Ole Pongratz on Tuesday in Munich. This interview has been translated from German to English by FOX Soccer’s Thomas Hautmann.

Ole Pongratz: Reports in the United States said you were to be included in the US training camp ahead of the friendly against Mexico but you have said that this isn’t the case — yet. Can you explain?

Julian Green: Yes, Klinsmann wanted to invite me to the game against Mexico but because it is not an official international match, Bayern had to give me the clearance first. That [only] happened on Tuesday.

OP: Jurgen Klinmann has announced that you have chosen the United States and that you have handed in your request for the one-time association switch with FIFA. What can you tell us about that?

JG: Yes, that’s right: I have decided on the USA and I will play for them from here on out.

OP: And why did you choose the USA?

JG: I practiced with them for two days and Jurgen Klinsmann simply put his trust in me. I have a lot of trust in him, and the team welcomed me right away and trusted me and that really appealed to me. That’s how I came to the decision.

OP: Why not play for Germany, the land of your mother?

JG: Like I said, it’s not a decision against Germany, but a decision for the USA. Klinsmann puts a lot of trust me and I like that.

OP: So Klinsmann was the key man for your decision?

JG: Obviously a coach is always very important, but the team is too. I felt very comfortable with them and that was decisive.

OP: Have you gotten a reaction from the German football federation [DFB] over this decision?

JG: I had conversations with the DFB beforehand, and I had a really good conversation with Hansi Flick [Germany’s assistant coach]. He gave me a perspective on my future with the German national team, but in the end I went with the USA.

OP: Did you hear back from the DFB after your decision?

JG: No.

OP: What are the chances of jumping onto the USA World Cup roster? We understand Klinsmann did not guarantee you a slot, correct?

JG: Guarantees never exist. No, I just want to perform, show my stuff, and if I’m there, I am there. I just want to step on the gas and in the end, we’ll see.

OP: Do you think the fact that you play for Bayern helps your case?

JG: Of course, I play for Bayern Munich — but as I said I need to show good performances and prove I belong.

OP: How did Bayern react to your decision?

JG: Very well. I received a lot of congratulations and everyone’s happy for me

OP: What’s the outlook for the upcoming friendly against Mexico and what’s next with your FIFA application?

JG: We’ll play Mexico and I’ll be eligible, and allowed to play. It’s the last test before the World Cup camp — and then it’s go-time!

Photo provided by Getty Images.

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