Right now, Pep Guardiola is planning to have 19-year-old U.S. national team winger Julian Green in Bayern Munich’s first-team squad this season.
That is huge.
Green, who was given his full-debut by Guardiola in the final moments of Bayern’s Champions League game against CSKA Moscow last November, signed a professional deal with the reigning German champions last fall which runs through 2017.
[RELATED: Green “proud” of USA’s WC effort]
The youngster was born in Florida but grew up in Germany, but he chose to represent the U.S. over Germany earlier this year and was a surprise inclusion in Jurgen Klinsmann’s 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Green’s storybook career continued as he jumped off the bench in the USA”s round of 16 clash with Belgium and scored with his first touch to make it 2-1.
This summer he will embark on two games in the U.S. on Bayern’s preseason tour and speaking with reporters via a conference call on Tuesday. Guardiola confirmed his intentions to keep Green in his squad this season.
“Now he stays with us. He’s going to stay with us and make preseason,” Guardiola said. “I think he’s going to stay [for the season], but we have to see how is the market, if one player is back or what players come in. Today I think he’s going to stay, but I think we’ll see the preseason. We have time. I know him and I know he trains well and he’s a good guy and my first idea is that he’s going to stay for the rest of the season.”
[VIDEO: Green scores vs. Belgium]
Okay, so Pep is being a little coy here but make no mistake about it, Green is in his plans after coming through the academy at Bayern and shining for the reserve team last season.
Depending on transfers and his performance in preseason, Green is set to become a fully-fledged squad member at Bayern for the 2014-15 season. If that means brief cameo appearances off the bench in cup competitions and Europe to start with, so be it. The fact that a young American winger is getting the chance to flourish and develop at one of the greatest clubs in Europe is hugely significant.
The entire U.S. soccer community will continue to keep a very close eye on Green this season.