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Teenage star Julian Green cleared to make U.S. debut

updated 8:07 AM EDT, Tue March 25, 2014
On Monday FIFA cleared winger Julian Green to play for the United States, despite him having previously represented Germany at various youth levels. The 18-year-old could make his debut in next week's friendly against Mexico. On Monday FIFA cleared winger Julian Green to play for the United States, despite him having previously represented Germany at various youth levels. The 18-year-old could make his debut in next week's friendly against Mexico.
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Julian Green
Diego Costa
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Julian Green cleared to play for U.S. against Mexico on April 2
  • The young winger previously played for Germany in youth tournaments
  • Green was born in Tampa and plays for Bayern Munich's second team
  • Former Brazil striker Diego Costa recently made his debut for Spain

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(CNN) -- It's a 1-0 victory to the U.S.

In an age when major nations are doing battle for football's brightest talents, the American team has pulled off quite a coup.

Julian Green is a dual U.S. and German citizen who has been playing for Bayern Munich in Germany since 2010.

The 18-year-old winger's displays since making his debut for Bayern's second team in 2013 have been enough to convince U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann to offer Green the chance to represent the country of his birth.

Real Madrid and Barcelona line up ahead of "El Clasico", one of the most fiercely-contested matches in world football. Real Madrid and Barcelona line up ahead of "El Clasico", one of the most fiercely-contested matches in world football.
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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger (left) and Jose Mourniho shared a frosty handshake before kick-off at Stamford Bridge. It proved to be a miserable day for the Gunners boss on the occasion of his 1,000 game in charge at the club. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger (left) and Jose Mourniho shared a frosty handshake before kick-off at Stamford Bridge. It proved to be a miserable day for the Gunners boss on the occasion of his 1,000 game in charge at the club.
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But the Tampa-born starlet has already represented Germany at youth level, meaning football's global governing body FIFA had to clear Green to play for Klinsmann's team.

On Monday FIFA did just that, meaning there is nothing stopping Klinsmann from handing Green his international debut against Mexico on April 2 and subsequently taking him to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"We are obviously thrilled," Klinsmann told U.S. soccer's official website.

"We appreciate FIFA's effort in getting his paperwork approved, and are excited to have him on board for the game against Mexico on April 2."

Blog: "Your country needs YOU!" But which country?

Cases like Green's are becoming increasingly common.

In February Spain handed a debut to striker Diego Costa.

The Atletico Madrid star has dazzled observers this season, firing his club to the top of the Spanish first division with 23 goals in 27 games.

Costa looks likely to spearhead Spain's defense of its World Cup crown later this year, an ironic twist given the tournament will take place in his homeland.

Not only was Costa born in Lagarto, Brazil, he played for the country of his birth on two occasions in March 2013.

But in September of that year the Spanish federation requested Costa be allowed to play for La Roja after he had been granted Spanish citizenship.

FIFA obliged Spain's request, much to the chagrin of Brazil's football authorities.

Manchester United youngster Adnan Januzaj is another player who could spark an international incident.

The winger, who impressed upon breaking into the United first team earlier this season, was born in in Brussels, Belgium and is also eligible to play for Albania.

The Football Association was thought to be exploring whether Januzaj would be eligible to play for England, while the Football Federation of Kosovo would also call upon the 19-year-old should it ever be permitted to play competitively.

Like Green before him, it seems likely that Januzaj will have to pledge his allegiance sooner rather than later.

Read: Messi inspires Barcelona to El Clasico triumph

Read: England failing to tackle racism problem?

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