At the heart of the LA Galaxy’s midfield for almost five years, Brazilian born Juninho has made a stunning revelation.
He wants to play for the U.S. national team.
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Juninho, 26, is currently a green card holder in the U.S. and the former Sao Paulo player is now eyeing up a spot on Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad rather than wait for a chance which may never come to oust the star-studded midfielders playing for the Selecao.
Speaking to Globoesporte in Brazil, Juninho had he following to say about the possibility of representing the U.S. national team.
“I have expressed my desire to play for the US national team,” Juninho said. “I think the US national team is closer than the Brazilian national team [for Juninho] because of the five years I’ve been there [in USA] and because of the knowledge I have of the league and the players. I’ve played a long time with Landon Donovan and he always opened my mind and this possibility is not too distant.”
Now, there are a couple of intriguing factors to this. One: Juninho only holds a green card, he got that in 2013, and that means he is eligible to become a U.S. citizen five years from 2013… so 2018, when he will be 29. Two: Is there any guarantee that Klinsmann will want to take him on board?
Perhaps initial discussions have already been had between Klinsmann and the LA standout? Who knows. But for him to come out with these comments, there must be something pretty substantial behind it. Juninho has never played for the Brazilian national team (his younger brother Ricardo Goulart was called up by Dunga last year) so there’s no need to worry about paperwork complications. Juninho is a talented player in MLS and is one of the best central midfielders in the league after forming a formidable partnership alongside Marcelo Sarvas over the past two seasons.
With Juninho seemingly three years away from even being a possible option for the USMNT, plenty can happen between now and then. However, with his allegiance out in the open, can anything be done to speed up the process?
Let’s wait and see.