THOUGHTS ON CHANDLER
PREVIEWS
RECAPS
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.
Dave
Wednesday May 16, 2012 1:42 pm
As I've stated on other articles and boards, I'm for giving Chandler 1 last chance to represent the US at the 9/11 WC Qualification match. If he doesn't accept than we move onto the next RB selection in the player pool (D. Williams, A. Morales, S. Williams, Alston, Beitashour, Myers, Beltran, Loyd, etc....). However, if either Dolo or Lichaj lose ground and become benched for their clubs, and Chandler is still an Option for the US...it'd be very short sited of US Soccer didn't have conversations w/ Chandler about possibly playing for us. We are not in a position (yet) where we can discount a player with Chandlers skillset out of spite.
Ben
Wednesday May 16, 2012 1:38 pm
I am not in the business of telling people if they are "American enough" and I won't start in the future. Dual citizenship means you have dual loyalties.... nothing wrong with that. When one of these kids say they want to play for the US, I take it at face value and welcome them into the fold.

That being said, it looks like Timmy Chandler has made his choice and that choice is with Germany. Good luck to him on getting called up to Germany's team. I agree we should not welcome him back very easily in the future.
Josh
Wednesday May 16, 2012 1:08 pm
It is one thing to move to a player who represented at the youth level and have him change national teams. It is quite another to have a senior capped player make the switch. Germany must not cross that line. It would be open season on lots of their team.
Freddie Footballer
Wednesday May 16, 2012 12:58 pm
Let's look on the bright side: we have Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams, Jermaine Jones, Terrence Boyd, Alfredo Morales, Andrew Wooten. And that's just the Germaricans. On the roster we have Corona, Torres and Castillo, all of whom could have played for Mexico but chose US. We've claimed more dual nationals than we've lost.

If Chandler comes back, great. If not, we move on. We have some depth at the RB position, so we've been essentially playing with house money with him anyway. A great guy to have, but this is a team sport. It matters to US fans that those who don the colors will fight to the bitter end for the team and our country. If his heart isn't in it, then we are probably better off in the long run.
Kruzer289
Wednesday May 16, 2012 12:47 pm
time to call Josh Gatt and give the kid a chance. Any player is welcome to play for the US as long as the put heart in every game and are commited to the country
Rokd
Wednesday May 16, 2012 12:26 pm
Simply put, if he doesnt want to be with the usmnt we simply move on. No one player is bigger than the team. NEXT!
rick
Wednesday May 16, 2012 11:57 am
I tried to tell you all that these German born and raised dual citizens want to be with Germany first. I got called every name under the sun but look at this article! Jones wanted to be on Germany's team but wasn't selected, so he joined us. Boyd seems to be the only dual in Germany dedicated to staying with the US and is the exception, not the rule. Chandler has shown his true colors and lack of commitment. This should be a warning for recruitment in the future and the need to develop home grown players like Dempsey, Donovan, Howard, Altidore and those types instead of people with conflicting dedication to their national team. We don't need the sloppy seconds of other countries. Chandler promised to stick with the team but didn't. Shame on him for that but this should not have been a surprise many people saw this coming.
Mark WNY
Wednesday May 16, 2012 11:55 am
YA should take a break from reporting on Chandler. Let's talk about players who want to be here.
2tone
Wednesday May 16, 2012 11:49 am
I have said it's time to move on. Dolo is still playing at a high level, and Lichaj is just as good if not better than Chandler. Not only that there are promising RB's in MLS i.e. Beitashour, Myers, Beltran, Loyd to name a few.

If he decides he is truly committed to the U.S. in a couple of months than so be it, but I highly doubt he is. Germany is his love=, and I have no problems with that. He is most definitely on Leows radar for after the Euro's. My ultimate feeling is that he wants to represent Germany, and we will probably see him in a German jersey after the Euro's.

Can't fault Chandler; he has really no strong ties to the U.S. Unlike Williams, Johnson, Jones, and Boyd which all of these guys still have frequent contact with their family members in the U.S.

Time to move on Lichaj will be Dolo's successor at RB.
Juan
Wednesday May 16, 2012 11:48 am
Chandler is a great player with lots of potential, it will be very upsetting if he chooses to never come back! On another note, we should only wants those who truly want to represent our country!
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