Bayern Munich goes Green for U.S. Tour
By Steve Keating
(Reuters) - Julian Green has been touted as the new face of U.S. soccer but it is one few Americans recognize.
That may change this week as the Bayern Munich 19-year-old wunderkind enters the spotlight during the Bundesliga champion's heavily promoted mini-tour of the United States that features a meeting with Mexican club Chivas Guadalajara in New Jersey on Thursday followed by an Aug. 6 game versus Major League Soccer All-Stars in Portland, Oregon.
For a young man who has yet to earn a first team spot with talent-packed Bayern and played only a handful of minutes for the United States in Brazil at the World Cup, Green arrives in his homeland burdened with great expectations having made an impression on the people who matter most.
A sensational goal in a 2-1 last 16 loss to Belgium in Brazil underscored Green's considerable skill and rewarded U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann for putting his faith in him.
More importantly, Green's play has made an impact on Bayern boss Pep Guardiola, who says he expects the teenager to be with the big club when the Bundesliga season begins.
"He stays with us," Guardiola said in a recent conference call to drum up interest in the tour that is being billed as the Audi Football Summit. "I think he’s going to stay (the season) but we have to see how is the market, if one player is back or what players come in.
"We have time ... my first idea is that he’s going to stay for the rest of the season."
Getting on the field for a pair of pre-season friendlies is one thing but earning regular season minutes on a club that provided much of the talent for Germany's World Cup-winning squad will be another matter. Continued...