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U.S. national team legend Steve Cherundolo retires

Mar 19, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT

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The news many U.S. national team fans have been dreading for quite some time seems to be here, Steve Cherundolo’s brave battle against injury has put an end to his career.

On Wednesday reports in Germany stated that a press conference with Hannover 96’s Cherundolo, a the three-time World Cup veteran with the USMNT, expected to announce his retirement. Cherundolo did just that.

Cherundolo, 35, was a mainstay in defense for the U.S. in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cup’s and has been club-captain at Hannover after a glittering 15-year career in Germany.

However persistent knee problems, which has seen him miss most of the 2013-14 campaign, has scuppered any chance Cherundolo had of making a late surge to Jurgen Klinsmann’s 2014 World Cup squad. The right back’s contract is set to expire at the end of this season and Cherundolo will now stay on as a coach with the Bundesliga sides U23 team.

In all Cherundolo has made 87 appearances for the U.S. national team since making his debut vs. Jamaica back in 1999, and the long-time right back for the Stars & Stripes is a lock to be added to the U.S. soccer Hall of Fame in the coming years.

The University of Portland product has spent his entire professional career overseas in Germany and Poland, and many will wait on anxiously to see what Cherundolo’s next move is.

A true legend of U.S. soccer is hanging up his cleats, but what a fantastic career he has to look back on for club and country.

  1. rafibomb10 - Mar 19, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Sad day for American soccer fans, as this guy was a good right back during his time in the stars and stripes. He had the pace to get up and down the line, was a great leader, and had some ability providing service. Captaining a German club for years speaks to his class.

    I will say, and as morbid as it sounds, I am glad he is retiring now. One too many times the legends try to wear their cleats one game too many. (Think Claudia Reyna, Kasey Keller, Brian McBride during the 2006 WC.) Now we can look forward to developing a player like Yedlin, and can be focused on finding a serviceable right back, whether that is Evans, Chandler, Parkhurst, or Johnson for the time being.

    Hats off to you Stevie!

    • bear06 - Mar 20, 2014 at 3:37 AM

      I think F. Johnson will stay on the left side of the field.

  2. mikeevergreen - Mar 19, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    “and in the release from the club they state that Cherundolo could stay on as a coach with the Bundesliga side, or in an ambassadorial capacity.”

    A coach? If this team slides to the lower half he’s likely to be the head coach.

  3. dohpey28 - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    Legend? lol

    • mikeevergreen - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      Yes, legend. Most appearances in Hannover 96 history, one of only a handful of US players to captain a team in a European top-flight, and the US hasn’t been able to settle on a right-back since his last appearance in 2012.

      Legend? HELL YES!

      Stop laughing.

  4. midtec2005 - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Cherundolo was probably the best outside back we’ve ever had. He will definitely be missed. This is a shame, but hardly surprising given recent events.

  5. hildezero - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Oh. Here’s the story… Anyways, as much as it sucks, I’m not surprised about that.

  6. chadmoon1 - Mar 19, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Anyone who knows anything about Steve, the USMNT, the Bundesliga, and soccer in general knows he career has been legendary.

  7. el timo - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    Steve, you were a pleasure to watch… solid in defense, then poised over the ball, head-up on the counter as good as our best mid-fielders. I’m sure you will make a superb coach, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see you on the sidelines for the USMNT one day.

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