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Can Timothy Chandler make a late World Cup roster dash?

Jan 27, 2014, 8:32 PM EDT

US Timmy Chandler controls the ball duri

It still deserves viewing as a “longshot,” but perhaps Timothy Chandler could make a late dash at a U.S. World Cup roster spot, afterall.

It’s a longshot because U.S. coaches and staff long ago tired of Chandler’s lack of maturity and inability to become the kind of consummate professional the game’s highest level demands. Embracing that ultimate professionalism has been a cornerstone of Jurgen Klinsmann’s comprehensive national team advancement efforts.

But … Steve Cherundolo’s ongoing injury struggles, attached to the ongoing inability for any of the challengers to put a lock on the right back spot, means Chandler might still have a wedge into the conversation.

And he does seem to be doing well lately. Chandler was named to Kicker Online’s Bundesliga Team of the Week after scoring last week in Nuremberg’s 4-0 win over Hoffenheim. That was for Week 18; if you click on the “Spieltag” tab and go to Week 17, you’ll see that this is Chandler’s second week in a row to appear on Kicker’s team of the week.

  1. bear06 - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    If Chandler keeps playing like he’s been in the last couple of months Klinsmann will have to get him out of the doghouse for the March friendly against the Ukraine. He is one of best RB’s in the U.S. MNT player pool besides Cameron.

  2. medic0nduty - Jan 28, 2014 at 12:25 AM

    While having Cherlundolo back and healthy would be the best situation, Chandler would certainly be preferable as a natural right back whereas everyone else who’s played there so far (Brad Davis, I think Fabian Johnson covered there a few games as well, and those are the only two I can remember) doesn’t play right back as a natural position. I’d say if he can keep this up and shows that he wants to be a part of the US team for the World Cup, Klinsmann will have to notice and call him up eventually.

    • gra42 - May 30, 2014 at 3:42 AM

      Davis has always been a LM for club (a little at CM) and country. 3-4 pf the best games the US has played in a very long time featured FJ at LB, not RB, RM or LM: Italy, Scotland, Brazil,..

  3. josh907 - Jan 28, 2014 at 2:11 AM

    Sure, it would be nice to have. But the question with him is if he really wants to play for the US. If you remember his last game for the US, it was the time when Klinsman had a bit of a struggle and an article came about division within the team, between Americans and German-Americans. Obviously no one besides the people involved know who made the comments, but there was certainly some divide between Americans and Germans in the camp. Chandler may not be comfortable with that. Add on his fear of flying and it makes it difficult to want to play for the US.
    If he does want to play for the US, it would be a great bonus, if not at right back but as a cover at left back. Cameron at right back and Chandler at left back would be one of the better defenses the US could produce and it would keep Johnson in the midfield where he is proven to be useful.

    • gra42 - Jan 28, 2014 at 3:40 AM

      I think Johnson was more useful when he played in the back for the U.S. Those games saw a U.S. team actually holding the ball in the midfield for long stretches and more easy shots for guys like Altidore than I’ve ever witnessed, going back to 2002. Having at least one defender who is comfortable with the ball at his feet in the middle third (where great teams set up their defense) and distributing from the back line is an absolute must for any team that intends to get far at the elimination stages of the World Cup, and has been the bread and butter of every team I’ve ever seen that won it all going back to Germany in 1990. As soon as JK made the switch from Johnson in the back to Johnson in the midfield, our team totally lost it’s shape and constantly fell back into “the bucket” that we got so used to since the end of the Arena days, where all of our shot opportunities were basically prayers under pressure, with very little of our opponents having to constantly fall back and shift around. Put it another way, Johnson showed that the U.S. can have a raiding back for the first time, maybe ever.

      • bear06 - Jan 28, 2014 at 6:42 PM

        Huh? When Fabian Johnson was moved from LB to LM the offense improved a lot and Altidore benefited from that.

      • gra42 - May 29, 2014 at 12:18 AM

        Which games are you referring to? The three games I watched FJ play at LM we were left having to score late or getting beaten outright, hoping for counters and defensive breakdowns, and playing too many wing and long balls. The only games they both played in when I remember Jozy scoring all featured FJ at LB.

      • gra42 - Jun 8, 2014 at 2:08 AM

        Our offense has never been better in USMNT history than it was when Johnson was at LB.

    • bear06 - Jan 28, 2014 at 6:43 PM

      “But the question with him is if he really wants to play for the US.”

      That’s not really a question anymore since he let it be known recently that he really wants to play for the U.S. and wants another chance.

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