Bayern's Julian Green encouraged by football's growth in United States
Julian Green believes football is on the rise in the United States as he looks to raise the profile of the game even further while on tour there with Bayern Munich.
Green, 21, is part of Bayern's squad for a preseason tour of the U.S. and the USMNT international has said how impressed he is with how the sport is developing in his home country.
"[It's developing] very well indeed," he said on Bayern's official website. "Everyone saw the enthusiasm for soccer at the 2014 World Cup. It was unbelievable! And I have the impression it's still developing.
"The tour is certainly very special for me personally. I was born in the USA, my father lives here, and I play for the U.S. national team. The USA is my home, just as Germany is. I'm delighted to be here with Bayern."
Although the aim of the tour is to prepare Bayern for the 2016-17 season, Green expects to enjoy his time in familiar company. "The people are so relaxed," he said.
"They're very warm and they'll give us a tremendous reception. It's easy to feel at home in the USA, and we'll enjoy the next few days. We have a packed schedule but I think it'll be a good tour. It's a great country and we're visiting fantastic cities. Everyone at Bayern can look forward to our stay here."
Being back in the United States will also give Green the chance to keep up with some of his other passions without having to stay up late.
"I'm a big fan of Hockey in general and especially of my hometown team, Tampa Bay Lightning," he said. "I try and watch as many of their games as possible, although the difference in time zones makes it difficult. I also follow the NBA and play a bit of basketball in my free time."
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.