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Steve Cherundolo out indefinitely, who is USMNT first-choice right back?

Aug 19, 2013, 11:42 AM EDT

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News broke from the Bundesliga this morning, and it wasn’t good if you’re a US national team fan.

Long-term right back Steve Cherundolo faces more knee surgery and will now be out for a long period of time.

The man from Hannover hasn’t had any luck in the past few years, and this surgery will be his third knee operation.

Cherundolo, 34, is a USMNT legend and has was the mainstay in that spot for over 14 years. However, the captain of Hannover could well see his international career slip away from him, as he currently stands on 87 appearances for his country.

Given that Cherundolo won’t be suiting up for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side anytime soon, what are the other options? The following guys have all been used recently. Any others we missed?

Brad Evans

Evans seems to be the man Klinsmann prefers right now. The versatile Seattle Sounders star shone against Jamaica by scoring the game-winner in the World Cup qualifier in Kingston in June. Being able to play across defense and midfield helps the 28-year-old’s chances of making the World Cup, but is he really the USA’s best option at RB? He did okay Bosnia but I’m a little unsure.

Michael Parkhurst

A proper full back, what you see is what you get from Parkhurst. The Augsburg defender was solid yet unspectacular in the Gold Cup success and at the age of 29, he brings bag of experience with over 244 club appearances in MLS, Denmark and Germany. The safe option going forward, for sure.

Geoff Cameron

A great option to use at right back, and for me, the first-choice guy as it stands. Yes, he plays for Stoke in midfield and pretty much anywhere they want him. But Cameron has come on leaps and bounds in the right back slot. After his impressive displays against Costa Rica and Mexico in the March World Cup qualifier. I would prefer him at RB than CB, the USA are pretty set for options there an din holding midfield.

Timmy Chandler

The forgotten man amongst USMNT right backs. 23-year-old Chandler has played in the Bundesliga for three straight season at FC Nuremberg and there was a huge scramble to make sure he pledged his international allegiance to Klisnmann and the Nats. He’s only played 10 times for the US, but still a great option.

  1. grm35741 - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Brad Evans is the choice!. Bosnia was strong and he did his job in the back and went forward on a number of occasions and created opportunities. His height vs Cherundolo is a BIG DEAL.
    I’d actually like to see Cameron in the defensive mid a few more times. His long legs and anticipation grabbed a lot of balls last time out and I liked his distribution supporting Bradley.. I wish he was in the position with his club.

    Forget the rest. Good players but not going to take us to the next level.

    We need a left back and have no options except players who we pray they don’t makes a mistake the whole game that causes a goal.I love Beas in the attack and his heart and energy on D but he gets wrong footed to often.

    • eddie0710 - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      Brad Evans has earned himself that right back spot but I just don’t see him as the best choice. Once we play teams with quick and skillful wingers (like Mexico) he is going to get beat. I would rather like to see Cameron at RB.

  2. midtec2005 - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    I’d say play Cameron there. He hasn’t look great at CB anyway and as you mentioned, he gets lots of time at RB now. I haven’t had much time to watch him though my cable carrier isn’t one of the carriers for the nbc affiliates that show the games so I can’t even stream them (their service is laughable anyway so I may get Dish). From what I hear Hughes is encouraging Cameron to get more involved offensively from RB, that would be cool.

  3. NowWaitJustAMinute - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    I just don’t see how anyone could possibly think that Evans is the answer at RB going forward. He looked good against Jamaica and other spot duty, but his defense is suspect. Yes, he scored, but RB should be sound defensiveily FIRST. If you get some offense from them with overlapping runs, gravy. Evan’s is versatile, yes, but a starting RB for a World Cup bound team he is not.

    Cameron looked good for Stoke against LFC over the weekend. He faced Countinho, and played really well for most of the game. He got beat a few times in the open field, but it was in the middle third when he took chances. He deserves a shot.

    Chandler…well, what the hell is going on with Chandler? No call ups recently so…? I’d like him to get the first look against Costa Rica. I think RB is his favored position, is sound defensively, and can provide some width and pace overlapping LD.

    • midtec2005 - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      I think Chandler doesn’t deserve a shot until another friendly. If he can show some semblance of interest in one of those then he could get another chance. His last couple of appearances were nothing short of embarrassing, they made Jonathan Bornstein look like a great option.

      • NowWaitJustAMinute - Aug 19, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        Good point. I feel a bit unnervy giving him the keys, but he is the best option/player for the position. JK needs to get a commitment from him (how many is that?). Theoretically at his age, he is the future RB for 10 years.

        I want him to give a shit about the Nats callups. If not, Cameron.

  4. jusafootballfan - Aug 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Just my take on a few of the players….

    Cameron- he’s terrible at CB. He really is. Play him anywhere but there. Right back would be good or another look at dmid in a meaningful match.
    Evans- while he’s done well, his position is one of our most obvious needs. That’s because it’s not up to par with most of our other positions. Same with LB. Evans as a sub, i’m ok with. I hope like hell he isn’t a starter come next summer.
    Parkhurst- possible sub. He brings nothing in overlapping runs. Again, I hope he is not a starter next summer.
    Chandler- While younger, he seems incredibly slow in all the matches I’ve seen him play. I was never too impressed by anything he did. Maybe that it’s just me, idk.

    To be honest, the squad looks fantastic, in comparison to talent level and depth of all of our previous teams. That said, we really could use a fresh face or two in RB and LB pool. If not, they will remain positions that just aren’t up to par with the rest the 11.

  5. talgrath - Aug 19, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Ah right back, the bane of the USMNT this year. Evans really is more of a midfielder, though he has done admirably at right back and he knows enough to know when he was beaten and put the ball out; the problem is that happens too often. Cameron is perhaps the better option, though again he isn’t a full time back. Chandler and Parkhurst have failed to impress me in teir matches for the USMNT, Chandler is young and could improve, but giving him his next chance in World Cup Qualifying strikes me as a mistake.

  6. 76bean - Aug 19, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Cherundolo’s experience and technical skill is hard to replace.

  7. rok41 - Aug 19, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but why not give DeAndre Yedlin a shot in a WCQ? He could be the future there and although only 20, he brings some serious aggressiveness and athleticism to the mix. His inexperience is an issue, so get him some work in these important games. Evans, is a liability there, just not his thing. Another thought; any reason Besler couldn’t be an option there? From all accounts, he is the US’s fastest player and plays smart.

    • midtec2005 - Aug 19, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      I don’t know how good Besler is at RB, but if Brooks can be solid in the middle I don’t see why it would hurt to try. I like Yedlin too, not a bad idea. There’s quite a few American right backs in MLS that could get a shot.

      • divy13 - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        Brad Evans and Michael Parkhurst so far have won the starting and backup jobs. The analysis on Geoff Cameron is so false it makes me angry. He is NOT a good backline defender though i will give him credit in the midfield as a defensive mid and sometimes a good winger but not consistently. I’d rather not see him on the team at all. As for Chandler, you won’t be seeing any more of him come WC time just as you haven’t seen him lately. He’ll get another shot after next year and maybe he’ll get better but i doubt it. Unreliable on the big stage. Its Evans 1, Parkhurst 2 and they are interchangeable for freshness.

        Here’s my preferred 23 man WC squad:

        STARTING XI
        GK-Howard
        LB-Beasley
        CB-Onyewu
        CB-Beasler
        RB-Evans
        LW-F.Johnson
        CM-Bradley
        RW-Corona
        AM-Donovan
        AM-Dempsey
        S-Altidore

        This starting 11 will keep us aggressive and attacking in the first 60-70 minutes of the game before subs come on. A combination of attack and defense up and down the field. Speed in the back with Beasley and Beasler can handle counter attacks while solid play from Evans shuts down the right and Onyewu dominates the middle as well as comes up on set pieces. F.J. also can pickup defensive assignments as well so the aggressive approach doesn’t leave the defense exposed. Altidore will beat down the defense directly while Donovan and Dempsey find creases with great distribution from Bradley, F.J. and Corona in the midfield.

        SUBS:
        GK-Guzan
        GK-Rimando
        D-Goodsen
        D-Gonzales
        D-Parkhurst
        D-Orozco
        M-Jones
        M-Diskerud
        M-Shea
        M-Zusi
        F-E.Johnson
        S-Wondolowski

        These subs are the perfect compliment for our style. Honestly all of them if need arises could jump in and start but I chose them specifically because they excel off the bench. This goes double for E.J., Wondo, and Shea. The 3 of them are just special off the bench though E.J. is good starting as well. The defense is all perfectly suited to be mixed and matched. Any combination of 4 in the back could start (at their respective positions) which is a great asset. If Jones shows me more he could oust Corona again for me but for now Corona has been great starting thus far and Jones can also work the CM spot so thats another asset. Zusi is the F.J. sub with a defensive presence that can still work the wing. Shea is having bad starting days and awesome days off the bench on the wing. Diskerud has thrown himself into that mix in the middle to relieve Bradley if need be or come on as an AM for Donovan or Dempsey…similarly E.J. will play that same role but less at CM and more as AM or CF. Wondo is a true striker but not physical like Altidore. He plays great against weakened defenses finding the channels and scoring. Altidore will beat them up and Wondo will finish them off. Great compliments of style. These subs provide sparks off the bench if needed but also keeps up aggression while bolstering defense at the same time. I love this squad and i hope i’m right about it because it could be special and get us to that ultimate prize!

    • boscoesworld - Aug 20, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      I’m with you. Give him a shot. Incredible speed and ball skills. The speed alone can cover for mistakes. That would be something seeing him streaking up the right side!

  8. bryaneverson - Aug 19, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    I would throw Tony Beltran into the conversation as well.

  9. bellerophon30 - Aug 19, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    It does kind of sound like Cameron by default, unless Parkhurst comes on during the Bundesliga season. Evans has backup written all over him, and if Cherundolo was a factor Evans might not even make the final roster.

    Chandler……..he just waffles too much. He’s cap-tied, sure, but his heart just does not seem to be in it. Nobody knows what he and Jurgen say to each other in private, but I have to wonder if they just don’t get along. You want the best players on the team, but I’m curious as to what his would-be teammates think of his act.

    That said, I like midtec2005’s idea of experimenting with one of our center backs out wide. Worth thinking about, especially when/if we wrap up qualification with a game or two remaining in the Hex.

  10. midtec2005 - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    I’ll just remind everyone that, as JPW said, Evans was Okay against Bosnia. He may be growing into the role. Only time will tell though, one nice thing is that he almost certainly has better technical ability than any regular RB.

    • boscoesworld - Aug 20, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      JPW was right! The thing Evans brings more than anything is his feel for the game. He knows situations and reacts before some things happen. I don’t feel he is a really bad choice there. I just don’t think we know who the BEST choice is yet.

  11. boscoesworld - Aug 20, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    We certainly have a glut of outside midfielders now. Maybe an experiment such as is going on on the left side?

  12. divy13 - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Brad Evans and Michael Parkhurst so far have won the starting and backup jobs. The analysis on Geoff Cameron is so false it makes me angry. He is NOT a good backline defender though i will give him credit in the midfield as a defensive mid and sometimes a good winger but not consistently. I’d rather not see him on the team at all. As for Chandler, you won’t be seeing any more of him come WC time just as you haven’t seen him lately. He’ll get another shot after next year and maybe he’ll get better but i doubt it. Unreliable on the big stage. Its Evans 1, Parkhurst 2 and they are interchangeable for freshness.

    Here’s my preferred 23 man WC squad:

    STARTING XI
    GK-Howard
    LB-Beasley
    CB-Onyewu
    CB-Beasler
    RB-Evans
    LW-F.Johnson
    CM-Bradley
    RW-Corona
    AM-Donovan
    AM-Dempsey
    S-Altidore

    This starting 11 will keep us aggressive and attacking in the first 60-70 minutes of the game before subs come on. A combination of attack and defense up and down the field. Speed in the back with Beasley and Beasler can handle counter attacks while solid play from Evans shuts down the right and Onyewu dominates the middle as well as comes up on set pieces. F.J. also can pickup defensive assignments as well so the aggressive approach doesn’t leave the defense exposed. Altidore will beat down the defense directly while Donovan and Dempsey find creases with great distribution from Bradley, F.J. and Corona in the midfield.

    SUBS:
    GK-Guzan
    GK-Rimando
    D-Goodsen
    D-Gonzales
    D-Parkhurst
    D-Orozco
    M-Jones
    M-Diskerud
    M-Shea
    M-Zusi
    F-E.Johnson
    S-Wondolowski

    These subs are the perfect compliment for our style. Honestly all of them if need arises could jump in and start but I chose them specifically because they excel off the bench. This goes double for E.J., Wondo, and Shea. The 3 of them are just special off the bench though E.J. is good starting as well. The defense is all perfectly suited to be mixed and matched. Any combination of 4 in the back could start (at their respective positions) which is a great asset. If Jones shows me more he could oust Corona again for me but for now Corona has been great starting thus far and Jones can also work the CM spot so thats another asset. Zusi is the F.J. sub with a defensive presence that can still work the wing. Shea is having bad starting days and awesome days off the bench on the wing. Diskerud has thrown himself into that mix in the middle to relieve Bradley if need be or come on as an AM for Donovan or Dempsey…similarly E.J. will play that same role but less at CM and more as AM or CF. Wondo is a true striker but not physical like Altidore. He plays great against weakened defenses finding the channels and scoring. Altidore will beat them up and Wondo will finish them off. Great compliments of style. These subs provide sparks off the bench if needed but also keeps up aggression while bolstering defense at the same time. I love this squad and i hope i’m right about it because it could be special and get us to that ultimate prize!

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