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Green asks FIFA for switch to USA

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CHICAGO (AP) - Bayern Munich forward Julian Green wants to play for the U.S. national team and has applied to FIFA to change his association from Germany.

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The 18-year-old, who was born in Tampa, Fla., played for Germany in three qualifiers for the 2014 European Under-19 Championship, making his debut last Oct. 10 against Belarus and getting assists two days later against Latvia and on Oct. 15 versus Scotland.

He made his professional debut for Bayern on Nov. 27 as an 88th-minute substitute in a Champions League match at CSKA Moscow.

FIFA since 2009 has allowed a one-time change in national team affiliation for a player who has appeared in an official match for a youth national team as long as the player had dual citizenship at the time.

''We are absolutely thrilled,'' U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a statement Tuesday. ''He is a very special talent. We wanted him to feel comfortable with our program and listen to his heart when making this decision.''

Green trained with the U.S. team in Germany this month ahead of its exhibition game against Ukraine.

''Obviously this was a big decision, and I spent a long time discussing it with my family,'' Green said in a statement issued by the U.S. Soccer Federation. ''I was born in Florida and my father still lives there, so I have deep roots in the U.S. I'm very proud to be representing the United States.

''A big part of the decision was the experience I had in Frankfurt. All the players were super nice and welcomed me from the beginning. Clint Dempsey gave me a jersey with my name on it, and the way they supported me gave me a lot of belief. The coaches have shown a lot of trust in me, and now I hope to do everything I can to earn a spot on the World Cup roster.''

Green has been invited to the U.S. training camp ahead of an April 2 exhibition against Mexico in Glendale, Ariz. He will become the latest German-American to join the U.S. program under Klinsmann, following Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson, Daniel Williams, Timmy Chandler and Alfredo Morales.

Klinsmann played for Germany's team that won the 1990 World Cup and the 1996 European Championship, and he coached Germany to third place in the 2006 World Cup. He moved to California after retiring as a player in 1998 and replaced Bob Bradley as U.S. coach three years ago.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
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