By Jared Allen
August 2, 2016
American prodigy Julian Green, who’s been dormant since his abrupt rise to fame prior to the 2014 World Cup, erupted in Charlotte over the weekend and led a watered-down Bayern Munich squad to a 4-1 victory over Inter Milan.
The Bundesliga champions overwhelmed Roberto Mancini’s mid-table side and were ruthless in the attack. Green gave the Bayern Munich supporters (who easily outnumbered the Inter fanbase) a reason to cheer after just seven minutes. David Alaba scampered down the left flank and overlapped Franck Ribery before supplying the young American with a sublime ball at the near post. With the touch of his right boot, Green redirected the inswinging cross into the bottom right corner.
It didn’t take long for Bayern Munich to double lead their lead. After 13 minutes, Ribery added himself to the score sheet, as he finished off Fabian Benko’s wonderful wide-play from eight yards out.
Two goals through 30 minutes didn’t satisfy Carlo Ancelotti’s men. Green secured his brace on the stroke of the half-hour mark and further highlighted Inter’s woeful defending. While the sun beamed down on Bank of America Stadium Saturday evening, the bright glare didn’t excuse Danilo D’Ambrosio’s inability to judge the flight of the ball. The Italian’s mistake allowed Ribery to collect possession and feed Green a perfectly weighted ball.
Minutes later, Green bagged his third (hat-trick) and put Inter’s hope of a comeback to bed. Again, The Italians’ defense appeared to be sleepwalking. Arturo Vidal enjoyed acres of space outside the 18-yard box and picked out the run of overlapping fullback Rafinha. The Brazilian served a ball across the box and found Green for an effortless tap-in. Samir Handanović couldn’t help but throw his hands out in dismay. Ancelotti clearly felt comfortable with his team’s lead at halftime and opted for a mass lane change to begin the second half.
Ultimately, Inter’s attacking superstar Mauro Icardi bagged a consolation goal for the Italians after Bayern Munich took their foot off the gas pedal. Inter struggled in what felt like a home match for Bayern Munich and gave their supporters very little to cheer about. While the color red filled the majority of the stadium, blue did peak through, but not because of the massive sporadic Inter cheering sections.
The attendance number on Saturday (53,629) dropped off from last year’s International Champions Cup (ICC) match between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain (61,224). The decline in attendance was evident and perhaps explainable. The Bundesliga champions left the majority of their heralded superstars home (Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, Arjen Robben, Douglas Costa, Thomas Müller, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels… you get the point).
However, while the matchup was far from inviting, Charlotte still produced the third-best attendance number thus far in 2016 during the ICC’s run in the United States. Only Michigan and Ohio have topped Charlotte on attendance thus far which further underlines the Queen City’s love for football (as said in Europe). It’s safe to say that Charlotte will remain an attractive location for the ICC in 2018 and the melting pot of football supporters will presumably welcome the thought with open arms, again.
Enjoy these images and videos:
A little live action from the pitch.
After the game with Julian Green.
After practice on Friday with FC Bayern Munich team signing autographs for fans.
Press Conference with Thiago
More on the International Champions Cup