Julian Green used to be the crowned jewel of the American soccer system, but his stock with USMNT has plummeted. Which in turn gives him something unique.
There was a time when all anyone associated with the USMNT could talk about was Julian Green. He was Christian Pulisic before Pulisic was a thing. He was the shining light that would guide America into the promised land of soccer glory.
Only it didn’t pan out. He scored with his first touch against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup and proceeded to fall off the face of the planet. Or at least to Stuttgart, where he was then sent on loan to Bundesliga II side Greuther Fuerth. So essentially off the face of the planet.
In Bundesliga II, Green played for a respectable 2000 minutes, but he scored just three goals and assisted once.
Still, it’s important to remember that this ‘failed prodigy’ is only 22 years old. Which is still an age where he could be considered a prodigy, albeit a long overdue one.
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But now that he is being included in the national team picture again, he is intent on reviving his stalling career. And he plans on doing that at the national stage. Green was called up to the national team for the upcoming friendlies and he is one to keep an eye on, as he boasts one weapon that not a lot of players on this team will have had yet – perspective.
With so much young, inspirational talent on the roster, there is enough reason to be excited. Pulisic, McKennie, Sargent, Weah, the gang will all be there. But the thing about this gang is that they are still in the phase Green was in four years ago – the phase of being untouchable. Their confidence has to be out of this world because, honestly, they haven’t had to deal with many obstacles in their short, rising careers.
Green has a unique perspective to offer them – the perspective of what can happen if you “take the eye off the ball.” It’s not easy to pinpoint what went wrong with Green, but needless to say, his talent was not capitalized on, and many use him as an example of what can happen if these confident young players try to bite off more than they could chew. Green never made the grade at Bayern Munich, and that was where his shortcomings began.
He now has the benefit of hindsight, and despite being just 22-years-old, he can provide a lot of wisdom for these young players as they push on into the formative years of their career.