THOUGHTS ON CHANDLER
RECAPS
PREVIEWS
EXTRA TIME
BRIAN SCIARETTA - Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Yesterday it was announced that the US national team is moving on without Timothy Chandler.

When the initial part of the US roster was announced on Tuesday, Timothy Chandler's name was not included and Jurgen Klinsmann said that the German-born right back wants to "take a break" from the US team.

Clearly this is not a good sign for those hoping to see Chandler in a US jersey anytime soon. It does likely mean that he is hoping for an eventual callup from Germany because I simply cannot see him ever refusing an invitation from Joachim Loew.

Players who are 22 years old do not take breaks from the international game. If anyone needed a break it would be Steve Cherundolo who is 10 years older and also coming off a Bundesliga season. Instead, Cherundolo was the first to arrive at the US national team camp.

So Chandler doesn't want to suit up for the US team right now and he may never want to suit up for the US team again. If his heart is not with the US, is it with Germany? It probably is.

This begs the question of whether or not he is good enough for Germany. I may be in the minority of journalists, but I think he will be on their radar after the European Championships this summer. His natural athleticism is very uncommon - even in the Bundesliga. He is fast, strong, and versatile.

Germany is one of the best national teams in the world and could very well walk away with the European title this summer. But even for a team that good, a phenomenal athlete who can move up and down the right side (either as a winger or a right back) is an asset.

It still will be tough for Chandler but this is a player who in June 2010 was informed by Eintracht Frankfurt that he was not in their plans. Since then, he signed with Nurnberg and went from a regular first team starter into a potential Bundesliga star. He probably wants to see how far he can go.

The next part of the question is how will he be viewed by the supporters of the US national team?
The US has lost out on top players before. Giuseppe Rossi and Neven Subotic are two players who would have been game-changers if they were to play for the United States. But the fact Rossi turned the US down and Subotic played for US youth national teams but filed for a switch to Serbia has left a bitter feeling among US fans.

Chandler is likely to surpass both Rossi and Subotic for two reasons: First is that unlike the other two, he actually played for the senior national team. In addition, he bailed on the Gold Cup, and quit the US team right before World Cup qualifying despite still being considered an important part of the team.

Second, Chandler made so many repeated comments, both in interviews with Yanks Abroad and to US Soccer's website, that he was dedicated to the US team. He frequently referred to it as a "dream." US Soccer has given Chandler his space. They allowed him to stay with his club and miss friendlies due to "injuries" that were not as serious as reported. Both Bob Bradley and Jurgen Klinsmann rated him highly and tried to make him a key part of the team. Subotic also once gave statements that he wouldn't turn his back on the US team, but unlike Subotic, Chandler was an adult when he made his comments.

If Chandler had refused a callup, he would likely have gone the way of Fulham's Brede Hangeland. Hangeland, like Chandler, is a US citizen but doesn't have strong US connections. He would have made a true difference for the US national team if he chose the US over Norway, but instead there really aren't any hard feelings from supporters due to the lack of US connections. The fact that Chandler played for the US and made the specific comments will leave bitter feelings.

Klinsmann said that the door is still open for Chandler's return. It is quite possible that in the future Chandler wants to come back and that his possible dreams of playing for Germany never come fruition. It's wise to never close the door on Chandler but if he announces he wants to come back right before the World Cup, would he be welcome then? It's unclear how the rest of the US team will feel about welcoming a player who previously refused to join the team prior to important and meaningful games.

The US is not at the level yet where they can turn away such talent, but the team has the ability to move forward successfully with players who are dedicated to the program. As Heculez Gomez once said "to play for your country is a privilege and an honor, and it shouldn't be taken lightly."

If a player doesn't share Gomez's attitude, why would fans or teammates want such a player? Success is not nearly as rewarding otherwise.

In the end of the day, international soccer is different than club soccer in that the players and the supporters are united and share the common bond of the flag. If a player does not share that goal, he really should not be part of the national team. Talent is important, but dedication, heart, and the willingness to fight for the flag are equally as important in the international game. Look no further the Frankie Hejduk who wasn't the most skilled player, but was remarkably successful at the 2002 World Cup through effort and willpower alone.

So while, Chandler says he wants to take a break from US Soccer, I hope the US fans now decide to take a break from Chandler. Despite occasional setbacks such as the recent Olympic qualifying team, soccer will continue to progress in the states and no one player or handful of players will ever change that.
JFORD
Wednesday May 16, 2012 7:25 pm
If Chandler change us for Germany, I'll never forgive him. Everyone talks about Rossi, but he never ever cheated anyone, always played for Italy since he was a young child and his natural walks would be to them. But Chandler played for our senior team . If he is deceiving us, it would be a shock, he should say soon whether or not be with us. Playing for a national team, is not a pragmatic job, that involves much more. He is a great promise for the future, but I prefer someone who wants to be with the USA.
Alex
Wednesday May 16, 2012 5:15 pm
I think Chandler is a jerk for stringing us along but I think his reasoning is sound. TC gains nothing from playing with us. His financial future will be determined by his play at Nuremburg and playing for the USMNT would distract him from it. If he plays for us he can't play for Germany and even if Germany does not pan out four him he still has a chance to be welcomed back into the fold and play for the USMNT considering that he has 2-3 WC cycles in front of him.
Nick
Wednesday May 16, 2012 4:49 pm
It's entirely possible that I just haven't seen enough of his Bundesliga games to be fully informed, but I really don't think Chandler has any shot of being a German international. Yes, he is very athletic and will run all day, but is he better than Phillip Lahm, Marcel Schmelzer, Jerome Boateng, Gonzalo Castro, Heiko Westerman, Marcel Schaefer, Andreas Beck, Marcell Jansen or Clemens Fritz? Those are the players he's competing with for playing time at both outside back spots, and I frankly don't think he's anywhere near their class defensively.

As a winger his route is even tougher. Germany might have the most stacked group of young attacking midfielders in the world: Mario Gotze, Andre Schurrle, Marco Reus, Toni Kroos, Sidney Sam and Marko Marin (and that's ignoring Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller who are established international stars). Sorry Timmy, but I don't see any path that leads to you being a German international, and now I'm beginning to see fewer paths that lead to you being an American international. Maybe he really does just need a break, but right now he just looks like he's making a silly decision.
Derek
Wednesday May 16, 2012 4:20 pm
If Chandler doesn't return, my feelings will never be as hard for him as they are for Giuseppi Rossi who was born and raised in the US.
J. J.
Wednesday May 16, 2012 3:43 pm
Even if Chandler wants to come back before the WC I doubt he'll be accepted. Klinsman said "the door is not closed" That is very different from "the door is open" .... To me that means, we'll take you only if there is a glaring need. It would have been nice to have him, but the team must move on and to take him back after waffeling would do damage to the espirit-de-core of the team in place. We wont be seeing Timmy in a US uniform until after the 2014 WC... if ever. Now there's a chance for someone else to step up.
Manny
Wednesday May 16, 2012 3:33 pm
Compare Timmy's attitude with that of Terrance Boyd. Boyd's enthusiasm is palpable. I hope that we don't lump all the German-Americans together.
leeterofcola
Wednesday May 16, 2012 2:16 pm
Not too concerned about Timothy Chandler to be honest. I've only seen him in one game where he looked like all he is made out to be and it was as a substitute against Paraguay. Other than that he's looked lost in spot duty at left back. It seems like when Herr Jurgenn took over that everyone forgot about Eric Lichaj. I rate him above Chandler... I know most won't agree. Lichaj is our answer at left back for now and right back once Dolo hangs up his boots. If Frankenstein wants to play for his homeland that is fine with me. I have mixed feelings about a lot of the players defecting to us from Germany. On the one hand, it's cool because they have the pedigree of the German footballer, but on the other I, like Herculez Gomez, think playing for your country is an honor and you should 100% feel that way. If you have mixed feelings about that you should probably not be representing that nation. Let him go off and do whatever he needs to but at some point I feel someone at US Soccer needs to draw a line for this guy and put pressure on him to decide who he wants to play for.
Pancho Miguel MoralesdeConejo
Wednesday May 16, 2012 1:59 pm
This is the risk you run with 'mercenaries'...not that his passport doesn't say he is American...but I can't imagine an 'American' turning down a call up from the USA.
However unlike Rossi - Who was born/raised as an American, went to grade school here, learned the Pledge of Allegiance maybe was a Cub Scout for all I know...Chandler was raised as a German. He holds no 'patriotic' desire to help the U.S.
Subotic was a refugee...maybe we felt he owed us...but in his heart could he have thought he was 'an American'.

I wish Chandler well, but hope that Klinsmann holds to his word and 'moves on without him'. We'll figure it out.
paul
Wednesday May 16, 2012 1:53 pm
To me it's simple, if you do not want to play for the USA and are asked, then renouce your USA citizenship. We have young men and woman serving in our military to become USA citizens, willing to die for our country, why do we need this turncoat. If he hadnot played and told lies about how he loved America I would have passion for him, but he is a brat who wants to have his cake and eat it too. Grow up boy.
Adrian S.
Wednesday May 16, 2012 1:44 pm
Chandler will never feel what a guy like Dempsey feels everytime he dons that USA kit; pride, passion, and heart for the shield! Cherundolo played an entire Bundesliga season combined with international friendlies along the way. Chandler's excuses for his absenses are weak at best. I agree with Mark WNY in that the focus should be on guys that want to be here and that will make the sacrifices for the betterment of the program. Lichaj is the future now. Funny because he too qualified for dual-citizenship with parents from Poland but chose his native USA.

USA FOREVER---DON'T TREAD ON ME
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