World Cup? Sure. Gold Cup? Not so fast.
Jurgen Klinsmann has revealed that Julian Green will get a break from international soccer this summer, instead heading back to Bayern Munich after a trying loan season at Hamburg. Klinsmann said the club isn’t “disappointed” in Green.
[ MORE: How will US lineup vs. Germany? ]
Green’s commitment to the USMNT was considered a coup for Klinsmann, and the then 19-year-old attacker scored a goal on his first World Cup touch in the Round of 16 loss to Belgium last June.
But he played sparingly in his loan season at Hamburg, eventually being dropped to the Bundesliga club’s U-23 side. He was a solid contributor to the U.S. U-23’s historic third-place finish at the Toulon Tournament, producing a goal and an assist.
“Julian took the risk to leave the nest in Munich and go as a 19-year-old to another club. He gets in a relegation battle with a big German club and has four different coaches in one year. So it didn’t work out as we all hoped, he struggled. But we want him to struggle in certain ways, youngsters have to go through these roller coasters. They’re learning that way.”
Klinsmann said Green – who notched a goal and an assist for the US Under-23’s in the prestigious Toulon Tournament, which ended with a third place finish on Sunday – will be given time to clarify his club status and regroup mentally before returning to the senior team.
“We manage their time, their next steps,” said Klinsmann. “This is part of our coaching job. Sometimes, it’s good to throw them in the cold water. Sometimes, it’s better to take them out and let them breathe.”
Certainly this will set off alarm balls and critical comments from some, but the rationale behind this decision is sound. It may make you go back and again question the 2014 World Cup roster — something I’m not interested in discussing, maybe ever again — but while the decision merits a post on our site, it isn’t going to make or break Green’s career.
And it may just send a good message to the those in U.S. Soccer still bearing ill will toward the 2014 roster decisions.