US internationals hat trick puts Bayern Munich over Inter Milan in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — Bank of America Stadium, home to the Carolina Panthers, played temporary home to a different kind of football Saturday night.While Saturday was a faceoff between German giants Bayern Munich and Italian top leaguers Inter Milan, Charlotte was a fitting location for one player — Bayern striker and U.S. international Julian Green — to steal the show. The Charlotte location is one of ten cities in the United States getting visited by the International Champions Cup, a world tour featuring exhibition matches showcasing some of the best professional soccer teams in the world. The 21-year-old Green led Bayern Munich to a 4-1 victory over Inter Milan, scoring a hat trick inside of the first 35 minutes of gameplay. When asked what it meant to notch a triple against a team of Inter’s caliber, Green was all business.”Really nice. I’m a striker, so I have to score goals,” he said. “If I can score a hat trick, it’s nicer. I’m very happy about it.”It was only the 7th minute of the match when Green drew first blood, slotting home a pass from defender David Alaba. Fellow forward Franck Ribery made it 2-0 six minutes later before providing an assist to Green in the 30th minute. Green then sealed his hat trick in the 35th minute off of a passed assist from defender Rafinha. Bayern Munich maintained an amazing 77.3 percent of possession in the first half, with over 92 percent of their passes completed. That trend continued through the second half, despite not scoring any more goals.Carlo Ancelotti, Bayern Munich’s head coach, says he wishes every game was this one sided, and was especially proud of Green.”He did well. He scored three goals,” Ancelotti said. “He was very good in the box. It was a good performance. The team did good offensive play and Julian was ready to finish.”Bayern Munich’s game was not flawless, however, as one lazy pass in the 90th minute gave Inter Milan forward Mauro Icardi a one-on-one opportunity against Bayern goalkeeper Tom Starke, which Icardi slotted away cooly. After the game, Inter Milan head coach Roberto Mancini was obviously not happy with the result, attributing the loss mostly to heavy travel and playing a lot of games in a short amount of time with few players.”It was not a really good performance,” Mancini said via Italian translator. “It was the third game in six days with the same players. I thought it could be worse, they had four goals from the first six shots. It was a question of mental fitness as well as having the same players.”As for Green, it’s still up in the air whether or not Saturday night’s goal-scoring fest will be enough to persuade Ancelotti to give the young American a shot at starting when they return to Germany for Bundesliga play. “He is with us, he trains with us. He will have the opportunity to start,” Ancelotti said. “He can play, he is improving and playing well during training sessions.”And that position may very well be one that may soon be vacated by Polish superstar Robert Lewandowski, who has been rumored to be in talks with Real Madrid, among other clubs, this summer.”I think [Green’s] best position is center striker,” Ancelotti said. “He is really quick and really fast and really smart in the box. So I think that position is his position. Of course he can play outside but in my opinion there he is less efficient.” One thing is for sure, though — the European clubs that visited Charlotte Saturday evening are glad to be out of the hot, humid North Carolina heat. With a peak temperature in the 90s and humidity levels well over 70 percent, it was a hot one — at least for the players. “Yes, but, not for me,” Ancelotti joked when asked if it was hot. “For the players, yes.”