BRIAN SCIARETTA - Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Alexandra Beier/Bongarts
As FC Nurnberg begin their preseason for the upcoming Bundesliga campaign, right back Timothy Chandler will be looking to build off an exceptional debut season.

Twelve months ago Chandler left Eintracht Frankfurt after being told he was no longer in the team's plans, before signing with Nurnberg. After initially excelling at the U-23 level, Chandler went with the first team on their winter trip to Turkey and impressed head coach Dieter Hecking which led to a quick debut in the second half of the season. The American was named to the Bundesliga team of the week multiple times and was one of the highest rated fullbacks playing in Germany since the start of 2011.

Now, after a month off for the offseason, Chandler insists he is healthy as Nurnberg's preseason camp enters into its eighth day in Austria and that a summer hiatus is part of the reason.

"I was injured towards the end of last season," Chandler told YA from Austria. "During the offseason I went on vacation and I feel okay now. I am ready to go."

On Sunday, Nurnberg played their first preseason match as they cruised to a comfortable 6-0 win over the lower division Austrian club SV Raika Längenfeld. Chandler played second half and was on the field for the final four goals.

This season will be an important one for the youngster as expectations will be much higher. Last season he took the Bundesliga by surprise and he frequently referred it as "a dream."

This year, however, will be one where he will look to show that he can turn in strong performances consistently throughout a long season. Chandler feels it will be difficult but he is confident in his ability.

"It will be difficult to keep that up from last year," Chandler discussed. "It will be a challenge and I will have to fully engage myself, focus, and play consistent games. Then we will see what happens."

Last year, Nurnberg finished in sixth place which was well above expectations for a club that has been relegated out of the Bundesliga twice in the last decade. They remained in contention for fifth place and a spot in the Europa League until the last few weeks of the season before tailing off at the end of April.

This season Chandler is confident that Nurnberg can again contend for a berth in European play with the Bundesliga now sending its top six teams to continental competitions.

"We are good enough," Chandler said confidently. "I like how the team is taking shape. We have a very good team and we are ready to contend again. Absolutely we can contend for spot [in European play] again. That is our goal and that's what we want to accomplish."

On the international front, Chandler's earned a call to the US national team for a pair of friendlies against Argentina and Paraguay in March. Chandler made his international debut in the game against Argentina and was on the field for the US team's equalizer in a 1-1 draw.

Back in May, US head coach Bob Bradley initially planned for Chandler to be on the team for the 2011 Gold Cup. Soon after, however, it was agreed that Chandler should be allowed to rest the injuries he picked up at the end of the last season instead of spending his entire off season playing for US team.

For Chandler, it was a very tough choice to not be with the US team at the Gold Cup. He watched all of the team's games and wished he was there to contribute.

"I watched the tournament," Chandler said of the Gold Cup. "It was very difficult for me not to go. I wanted to play for the United States, but I had to go with decision of the club. I was not fit at the time and was still recovering."

Now completely healed and ready to play, Chandler hopes that it won't be long before he can represent the United States again. The US is scheduled to play their next game against Belgium on September 6 in Brussels and Chandler hopes be a part of the team.

"If I am invited, I would love to play for the United States again," Chandler said. "I have a very good opinion of Bob Bradley as a coach. He brought me in back in March and I like playing under him along with the players on the US team."

Chandler was born in Frankfurt and is the son of an American soldier who was stationed in Germany. As a US-German dual citizen, Chandler played for Germany at the U-15 level but it was not a good experience for him. Since then he has never played for Germany again.

With his strong performances in the in the second half of the Bundesliga season, rumors have circulated that Chandler may not have chosen to play in the Gold Cup because he did not want to be permanently cap-tied to the United States and instead was holding out for an invitation to play for Germany.

In June, the German federation said that Chandler was not an option for them anymore in acknowledging that he wants to play for the United States.

In addition to the statements from the German federation, Chandler himself is very quick to halt the new rumors that have surfaced since the Gold Cup.

When he was in US national team camp last March, he told the media that he did not want to play for Germany. He is very insistent that this is still true and that his top international goal right now is to represent the US at the World Cup.

"No. That is absolutely not the reason why I missed the Gold Cup," Chandler stated emphatically. "It is my goal and dream to represent the United States at the 2014 World Cup. What I said in March is true. I will absolutely not play for Germany. There is no way that will happen."

Following preseason, Chandler and FC Nurnberg travel to take on Arminia Bielefeld in a German Cup mach on July 30. Nurnberg opens their Bundesliga season on August 6th when they face Hertha Berlin on the road.
Wednesday September 14, 2011 11:31 am
So. Yea. About that...
Wednesday July 6, 2011 2:24 pm
Thrilled that Chandler wants to play in 2014 for USA!
Wednesday July 6, 2011 12:58 pm
Gotta love the idea of Chandler being a regular for us. With him and Cherundulo as options on the right (or even right mid for Chandler) and Lichaj on the left our defense cleans up a bit. If we only had a second option on the left to make us that much more deeper! Who was the guy who played left back for us during the game against...Zach Lloyd? Anyway, this is great news. Go USA!
Wednesday July 6, 2011 7:31 am
We really could have used his talents against Mexico. He is great in defense and gets forward better than many other on the USMNT. I hope along with Chandler others get healthy so that we do not see a Borenstien return. That was a true horror show in the GC final. Another Confederations Cup would be nice, but we do need to focus on everyone getting healthy. Davies, Onyewu, Chandler, and Holden fully fit would be a wonderful sight in that first WCQ match. I just hope coach B can find the correct way to use them! He did leave Spector off the team for Borenstein. I guess the FMF is a better league than the Premiership.
Tuesday July 5, 2011 8:46 pm
I could not be more pleased that Timmy is indicating his intention to play for the USA. He is a wonderful talent and will be an extremely valuable member of the US National Team for a long time!! Thank you for dismissing the speculation!
Bill S
Tuesday July 5, 2011 4:53 pm
Timmy is a great talent. I expect him to go very far in the world of football. The USMNT will benefit greatly and they are very lucky to have him.
terry Chu
Tuesday July 5, 2011 1:53 pm
I agree with Deaf65s comments. There are some short term sacrifices that are better made for the long term, and Chandler recovering in order to continue play for his club is one of them. It is a relief to hear him reaffirm his commitment to the US team, as there were lots of those negative rumors floating around.
Tuesday July 5, 2011 12:46 pm
Great! He is a great player and we need him on the US squad. I was so disappointed when he did not play for the US during the gold cup.
Tuesday July 5, 2011 11:15 am
I kept my faith in him that he would represent our country for the football and I have been right. I understood that he experienced exhaustion from the excitement of making the first team in BL1 at an early age and kept it with his dedication and determination so it has been real overwhelming for him. So, in all, he needed a rest real bad to recollect what he have accomplished. I doubt that he could help us and even Nuernberg if he had went straight to the Gold Cup. So, after that, he got what you call: Experience. I am confident that he he will be a great RB for us and hope that we get more competition for RB to push him even higher. Now someone mentioned that if he had played at Gold Cup, he would have kept Bornstein off the pitch, the only real solution to that problem is to get rid of the entire power-hungry/puppets circus wagon that includes Bob Bradley, Suni Gulati, and Dan Flynn. After that, we would in the right direction...
Tuesday July 5, 2011 10:27 am
I'm sure he knows how much we missed him in that final.. make it up to us Timmy ;)
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