Skip to main content

Teenage star Julian Green cleared to make U.S. debut

March 25, 2014 -- Updated 1207 GMT (2007 HKT)
On Monday FIFA cleared winger Julian Green to play for the United States, despite him having previously represented Germany at various youth levels. The 18-year-old could make his debut in next week's friendly against Mexico. On Monday FIFA cleared winger Julian Green to play for the United States, despite him having previously represented Germany at various youth levels. The 18-year-old could make his debut in next week's friendly against Mexico.
HIDE CAPTION
Julian Green
Diego Costa
Adnan Januzaj
<<
<
1
2
3
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Julian Green cleared to play for U.S. against Mexico on April 2
  • The young winger previously played for Germany in youth tournaments
  • Green was born in Tampa and plays for Bayern Munich's second team
  • Former Brazil striker Diego Costa recently made his debut for Spain

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- It's a 1-0 victory to the U.S.

In an age when major nations are doing battle for football's brightest talents, the American team has pulled off quite a coup.

Julian Green is a dual U.S. and German citizen who has been playing for Bayern Munich in Germany since 2010.

The 18-year-old winger's displays since making his debut for Bayern's second team in 2013 have been enough to convince U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann to offer Green the chance to represent the country of his birth.

Real Madrid and Barcelona line up ahead of "El Clasico", one of the most fiercely-contested matches in world football. Real Madrid and Barcelona line up ahead of "El Clasico", one of the most fiercely-contested matches in world football.
El Clasico
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
Real Madrid 3-4 Barcelona Real Madrid 3-4 Barcelona
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger (left) and Jose Mourniho shared a frosty handshake before kick-off at Stamford Bridge. It proved to be a miserable day for the Gunners boss on the occasion of his 1,000 game in charge at the club. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger (left) and Jose Mourniho shared a frosty handshake before kick-off at Stamford Bridge. It proved to be a miserable day for the Gunners boss on the occasion of his 1,000 game in charge at the club.
EPL: Wenger's 1,000th game
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
EPL goals galore EPL goals galore

But the Tampa-born starlet has already represented Germany at youth level, meaning football's global governing body FIFA had to clear Green to play for Klinsmann's team.

On Monday FIFA did just that, meaning there is nothing stopping Klinsmann from handing Green his international debut against Mexico on April 2 and subsequently taking him to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"We are obviously thrilled," Klinsmann told U.S. soccer's official website.

"We appreciate FIFA's effort in getting his paperwork approved, and are excited to have him on board for the game against Mexico on April 2."

Blog: "Your country needs YOU!" But which country?

Cases like Green's are becoming increasingly common.

In February Spain handed a debut to striker Diego Costa.

The Atletico Madrid star has dazzled observers this season, firing his club to the top of the Spanish first division with 23 goals in 27 games.

Costa looks likely to spearhead Spain's defense of its World Cup crown later this year, an ironic twist given the tournament will take place in his homeland.

Not only was Costa born in Lagarto, Brazil, he played for the country of his birth on two occasions in March 2013.

But in September of that year the Spanish federation requested Costa be allowed to play for La Roja after he had been granted Spanish citizenship.

FIFA obliged Spain's request, much to the chagrin of Brazil's football authorities.

Manchester United youngster Adnan Januzaj is another player who could spark an international incident.

The winger, who impressed upon breaking into the United first team earlier this season, was born in in Brussels, Belgium and is also eligible to play for Albania.

The Football Association was thought to be exploring whether Januzaj would be eligible to play for England, while the Football Federation of Kosovo would also call upon the 19-year-old should it ever be permitted to play competitively.

Like Green before him, it seems likely that Januzaj will have to pledge his allegiance sooner rather than later.

Read: Messi inspires Barcelona to El Clasico triumph

Read: England failing to tackle racism problem?

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT