Julian Green has swapped the cache of Bayern Munich for the prospect of first-team minutes at Hamburger SV, where the 19-year-old U.S. national team attacker will spend the 2014-15 season on loan. The move was sealed early Monday, the final day of the European transfer window.
Green signed a senior contract with Bayern last year but featured only once – a three-minute stint toward the end of a November UEFA Champions League match at CSKA Moscow. The man he relieved that day, Mario Götze, scored the World Cup-winning goal for Germany in July.
Green had a memorable World Cup as well, pulling the U.S. to within one with a late goal in the 2-1, round-of-16 loss to Belgium. He also took part in Bayern’s preseason tour of the U.S. and played in the MLS All-Star Game. But he was unlikely to crack such a loaded lineup with any regularity. At some point, a player with his prospects should have more minutes for his club than his country.
Jerry Green, Julian’s father, told ESPN that U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann was “very high on Hamburg,” which finished 16th in the Bundesliga last season. It was a record-low finish for the 1983 European champion. The club had to win a relegation playoff just to remain in the top tier.
“[Klinsmann] knows the coach. He knows the people there. It's a great opportunity for Julian to play some games. He thinks this is going to be a good thing for Julian and the U.S. team,” Jerry Green said.
HSV is managed by Mirko Slomka, who was hired in February. He has prior experience with American internationals, having coached Steve Cherundolo at Hannover 96 and Jermaine Jones at Schalke 04. Hamburg has started the new Bundesliga season 0-1-1 without scoring a goal. It’s primary forward is 22-year-old German Pierre-Michel Lasogga. He’s been supported by Dutch veteran Rafael van der Vaart, the club captain, along with midfielders Tolgay Arslan and Ivo Iličević.
Green is in Prague with the U.S. preparing for Wednesday’s friendly against the Czech Republic. He’ll then join HSV with plenty of time to prepare for its next game, Sept. 14 at Hannover.
Green will remain under contract with Bayern through the 2016-17 season. HSV confirmed Monday that the loan will be for one year only and that a "great future is predicted" for Green in Munich.