The rhetoric surrounding US soccer since the appointment of former German international and national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has been around developing America into a footballing nation.
Early returns suggest that Klinsmann is succeeding on that front with the US ranked the 14th best team in the world. Klinsmann has excelled at incorporating young talent, and developing a culture within the squad.
A changing of the guard is under way as the stalwarts like Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey reach the twilights of their respective careers (surely this is the final World Cup for these American heroes). It’s within this context that the commitment of Julian Green - the precocious winger from Bayern Munich’s academy – is so significant. All too recently the US lost talents like Gusseppe Rossi and Nevan Subotic to Italy and Serbia respectfully.
The USMNT’s record in retaining players with dual citizenship has been poor. But with the commitment of Green along with Fabian Johnson, Joe Corona, Mix Diskerud, and Aron Johannsson international opinion on US soccer is changing. And here are still other young talents to be had with Arsenal’s Gideon Zelalem still yet to make his decision.
The vacuum that will be left by the likes of Dempsey and Donovon is large but could in time be filled by this crop of dual-citizenship talents. America is the world’s foremost melting pot of immigration. Slowly but surely the national team is starting to resemble its multi-cultural soul.
Julian Green is the first blue chip prospect to commit his future to the United States, and there’s real optimism that more will follow. What separates the Spain’s Brazil’s and Germany’s from the rest of the world are their individual game breakers. With a few more commitments like Julian Green the US could soon find itself in the company of these more storied footballing nations.
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