The news rippled quickly from SI, to ESPN, to most of the US soccer blogs pining for you to ogle what they might have to say about our newest recruit. On the one hand, you're talking about a 4th tier German league player (albeit an unmitigated ace). On the other hand, you're talking about an up-and-comer blocked by some of the more brandy brand names (Ribery, Robben) in wing play in the capital W World. What to think, mates?
First off, let's talk about his highlight reel.
He knows how to find space. He clearly is not phased by playing against pros. He's really fast. He's not weak on either foot. The fetish that is the conversion of Jules Green seems to have more merit than the love affair with Freddy Adu; this isn't about marketing- the kid has big time talent.
Secondly, let's talk about our other primary wing options as of the 18th of March. We have Landon Donovan. He isn't quite as good at breaking down a defender on the win as he used to be, but he can deliver on a dead ball. After Landycakes, we have Zusi. He's like a slower version of Donovan with less experience and a similar skill set. In a solid 3rd is Bedoya- he looks a head quicker than Zusi, and although a rival on the dead ball, he does not separate himself here. Julius Green has massive potential to be a difference-maker in this regard. No one in the pool has the combination of speed and quality that Green possesses, so his shot for a roster spot cannot be easily dismissed.
Green's primary rival in the current pool is Brek Shea. I thought Brek gave a good effort in Cyprus, but I also think he was a contingency for Green's availability in Brazil. Klinsmann has showed he wants players who want people excelling at their level (within reason), and Green is doing just that at Bayern's reserves. Shea, the potential wild card, will need an amazing run at this point to usurp a now not so potential rival for Brazil 14'. At this point, a conquest of the left wing at Stoke is basically his only chance for a paid visit to the Southern Hemisphere.
This brings me to point 3 about the ‘conversion' of Julian Green: nativism. Does any real American consider deriding Mr. Green's candidacy in the pool as legitimate? The answer is almost assuredly yes. Ironically, a German-American leaped into the fray deriding a group of players with (arguably) more ‘American' names than him. Sour grapes are the obvious response, but anti-immigrant has been a common trope in American discourse for centuries (and we're not even close to being 300 years old!). I (and Thomas Dooley, and David Wagner, and...) say get over it.
We are about a week short of seeing it first hand in a late night tilt in Glendale. Barring an injury, he will get sub minutes against El Tri a week from Wednesday, and we may just get a preview of what he can do against the big boys when they're tiring. Given the potential loss of Timmy Chandler, the definite loss of Steve Cherundolo to retirement, and a whole lot of nerviness about the backline these days, Julian Green's date with his close up could not come at a better time.