Bayern Munich's Julian Green commits to USA

The 18-year-old winger has chosen to represent the Stars and Stripes and will join the national team for their friendly against Mexico next month

Bayern Munich prospect Julian Green has chosen to represent the USA national team rather than his country of residence Germany.

The 18-year-old winger, who was born in Tampa, Florida to an American father and German mother, trained with the USA earlier this month before the national team’s friendly against Ukraine.

“Obviously this was a big decision, and I spent a long time discussing it with my family,” Green said in a news release. “I was born in Florida and my father still lives there, so I have deep roots in the U.S. and 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.”

U.S. Soccer made the announcement Tuesday after Klinsmann revealed the news on Twitter.

Green made his first-team debut for Bayern in a Champions League match in November but is yet to feature in the Bundesliga. He plays regularly for Bayern’s reserve side. Although he most recently represented Germany at youth level, he did play for the U.S. Under-18 side in a September 2012 friendly.

The one-time switch is required because Green played for Germany this past fall in U-19 European Championship qualifying, an official competition.

The player will join the USA for their friendly against Mexico on April 2 in Glendale, Arizona, although it remains to be seen if his switch will be approved in time for him to play.

“He is a very special talent,” Klinsmann said. “We wanted him to feel comfortable with our program and listen to his heart when making this decision. I personally want to thank Kalle Rummenigge and everyone at Bayern Munich for their support through this process. He is an exciting player with a tremendously bright future.”

Stielike predicts Madrid-Bayern Champions League final

The former Blancos star believes Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola’s sides are the strongest in Europe and is hoping they meet in Lisbon at the end of the season

Former Real Madrid and West Germany star Uli Stielike believes that Carlo Ancelotti’s side will face Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

The Bavarians are the defending European champions and have already booked a quarter-final berth by beating Arsenal 3-1 on aggregate.

The Liga leaders are set to join them thanks to their 6-1 first-leg win over Schalke in the last 16 and the 59-year-old, who spent eight years at Santiago Bernabeu, believes the two are the best sides in Europe.

“Bayern may be the strongest,” he told AS.

“They have the best bench in the world, which is vital to compete in three competition, and have 16 or 18 starters.

“It would be good if the final was between Bayern and Madrid. They’re the strongest. Ancelotti has stuck with the 4-3-3 and is getting stronger.

“And you don’t have to compare the standings this year and last year. They are fighting for three trophies. At first there were doubts about Ancelotti, but it was the same in Pep Guardiola’s first month at Bayern.”

Barcelona have been criticised for moving away from the quick passing game which defined their ascent to the top of the world game over the last decade but Stielike believes results should come first for the 2011 winners.

“People are right in saying they are playing different. Possession is now less important and they want to be more efficient. But that doesn’t change the strength of the team.

“One-touch football is more attractive, but at the end of the day, results count. Nobody askes if you touched the ball 18 times or four times if you win.”

Finally, Stielike claimed that Bayern’s brilliant form over the last 18 months has seen the Bundesliga break into two different factions.

“The first assessment is to be done in the Bundesliga. There are two tournaments. Bayern playing at the top and another in which there are three teams trying to get into the Champions League.

“There’s a huge difference between Bayern and the rest.”

Guardiola: I'm staying until Hoeness is free

The Bayern Munich boss has hailed the former president’s impact on the club and wants to remain at the Allianz Arena for two or three more years


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Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola says he would like to remain at the Allianz Arena until after former club president Uli Hoeness is released from prison.

The former West Germany international was put behind bars for three and a half years after being found guilty of tax evasion last week.

The 43-year-old Guardiola has already voiced his sadness that his “friend” will no longer be at the club and is willing to wait until his jail term ends.

“I’ll continue until Hoeness comes back,” the former Barcelona coach is quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo.

“I want to do my best for the club. I want to continue working here for two or thee years. My dream is to be here when he returns.

“Without Hoeness all this would not have been possible.”

Guardiola’s current contract at Bayern expires in the summer of 2016.

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Schweinsteiger: I'm not yet back to my best

The midfielder is happy with his form following a three-month injury lay-off but acknowledges that there is still much room for improvement

Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger is delighted to have returned to competitive football after a three-month absence but says that his performances are not yet as good as they should be.

The Germany international, who was sidelined for three months with an ankle injury, made his comeback in February and since then he has scored two goals in seven appearances, including the winner in a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

However, he still believes he has more to give and is working hard to reach top gear as soon as possible.

“I’m glad I no longer hurt as much. I feel a lot better.” Schweinsteiger told his club’s official website.

“I am trying to reach my absolute top level as fast as possible. I’m not yet where I want to be [in terms of my level of performance], but I am glad that things are looking up.”

Bayern’s sporting director Matthias Sammer is happy with Schweinsteiger’s recovery, but he has urged the midfielder to be patient and give himself time to get back to full fitness.

“I’ve known him for 20 months now and his whole movement is getting better,” added the 46-year-old. “He looks physically very stable.

“We should not forget that he wasn’t able to train really free after his operation.

“The timing is everything now. The last percentage of fitness will come with training and games.”

Bundesliga Team of the Week: Schweinsteiger returns to the fold

The Bayern Munich midfielder scored twice in his side’s 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen and stars alongside the likes of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in our weekly XI

Bayern Munich are on the brink of retaining their Bundesliga title after a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, which followed Borussia Dortmund’s earlier defeat to Champions League hopefuls Borussia Monchengladbach. But only one of the Bavarians’ stars has made Goal‘s Team of the Week.

One of the best results of the weekend was Hannover’s 3-0 away triumph over struggling Hoffenheim and Ron-Robert Zieler takes the gloves after providing a stable backing for his side.

A late own goal saw Hamburg beat Nurnberg and Heiko Westermann wins a place at centre-back thanks to a solid performance at the back for HSV. Struggling Stuttgart were held at Werder Bremen but Georg Niedermeier put in a fine performance, as did Christian Schulz for H96.

Leonardo Bittencourt was one of the stars of the weekend thanks to two assists for Tayfun Korkut’s side, Hakan Calhanoglu was on the scoresheet for Hamburg, Ibrahima Traore was a constant nuisance for Stuttgart against Bremen and Bastian Schweinsteiger was the star of the show for Bayern, scoring the second goal.

Karim Guede struck twice for Freiburg as they claimed a big win over Eintracht Frankfurt, Shinji Okazaki sent Mainz up to the dizzy heights of fifth and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar got another two goals as Schalke bounced back.