bundesliga

Julian Green vs. Alphonso Davies: A North American Bavarian Derby

The USA's Julian Green and Canada's Alphonso Davies add a dash of North America to Greuther Fürth's meeting with Bayern Munich on Bundesliga Matchday 6.

It’s a match of opposites for clubs and protagonists alike.

Bayern are top of the Bundesliga in their pursuit of a 10th straight title, while Fürth are sitting at the foot of the table without a top-flight win since May 2013.

Greuther's only previous Bundesliga campaign ended in an immediate return to the second tier. They recorded just four wins over the course of the 2012/13 season, whilst Bayern romped to a continental treble.

Green - only 17 and on the books at Bayern at the end of Fürth's maiden top-flight voyage - was instrumental in getting them back to the promised land. Despite operating in the centre of the pitch, the 26-year-old was the club’s third top scorer, with nine goals in the 2020/21 Bundesliga 2.

Opening his Bundesliga account against his former club would represent a dream come true, and the extra motivation could provide the impetus needed for the Greuther David to overcome the Bayern Goliath.

Watch: Julian Green - back in the big time

One of the men who will be trying to stop Green and his teammates is Davies, the 25-time Canada international who has made the left-back spot at the Allianz Arena his own.

Davies arrived in Munich in January 2019, via a formative stint at Major League Soccer outfit Vancouver Whitecaps. The 20-year-old has already made 91 competitive appearances for the record champions, compared to Green's four between 2013 and 2017.

Having recovered full fitness and his 2020 sextuple-winning form, Davies has been involved in all of Bayern’s Bundesliga matches so far this season, recording assists against Hertha Berlin and RB Leipzig.

Watch: Alphonso Davies enjoyed a landmark season in 2020/21

Much as he would like to have a clear run at goal, Green will know that he has to be on the highest of alerts if he wants to keep Davies from adding to that assist tally, to say nothing of finding his maiden Bundesliga goal.

Green didn't make it off the Bayern bench in the Bundesliga, drew a blank in his five Bundesliga outings whilst on loan at Hamburg in 2014/15, and is 280 Bundesliga minutes in Fürth colours without a goal.

The 15-time USA international - who has an American father and German mother - scored the last of his four USMNT goals to date in June 2018. He hasn't played for his country since November of the same year, but did earn a long-overdue recall as part of Gregg Berhalter's May 2021 roster.

Robert Lewandowski's (l.) arrival at Bayern in summer 2014 forced Green (r.) to look elsewhere for first-team football. - imago sportfotodienst/imago/fossiphoto

Green isn’t the only Deutschamerikaner to have plied his trade for Bayern and Fürth.

Brothers Timothy and Malik Tillman were born in Nuremberg to an American father and a German mother. Unlike Green, the Tillman brothers appear to have committed their international futures to Germany, instead of the USA.

Earlier in their development, the two played for Fürth youth teams before making the switch to the Bayern academy.

Following a loan spell comprising six Bundesliga outings with Nuremberg, Timothy returned to Fürth in 2020, playing 24 times in Die Kleeblätter’s promotion-winning campaign.

Malik has remained at Bayern, becoming a reliable goalscorer at U17 and U19 levels before being bumped up to the reserves and the fringes of the senior side.

Malik Tillman has signed on the dotted line at Bayern through to summer 2024. - imago

So far in the 2021/22 season, Timothy, 22, has been on the bench for all five of Greuther’s matches.

Malik, 19, was an unused substitute for Bayern’s games against Cologne and RB Leipzig, but enjoyed a scoring debut in the DFB Cup first round. He has since been rewarded with his first pro deal with the club.

If the Tillmans feature on Matchday 6, Green and Davies will be their respective go-to guys for advice. They've been there, done that and got the T-shirt.