BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, August 29, 2011
With US national team set to assemble on Monday in California, right back Timothy Chandler is excited to arrive in camp and begin playing under new head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Chandler, 21, has not been with the US national team since March when he was invited by then-head coach Bob Bradley.
In a pair of friendlies against Argentina and Paraguay, Chandler played well and left many believing he would take over the right back position from veteran Steve Cherundolo.
Since then, Chandler has not been back with the US team. He did not take part in the Gold Cup after consulting with management at FC Nurnberg who all felt he needed to rest in the offseason. Earlier this month his club once again had him withdraw from the national team for a friendly against Mexico citing an injury despite not missing any Bundesliga action.
With all that now behind him, Chandler is set to return to the national team and prove to Klinsmann that he is ready to be an important part of the team moving forward.
Chandler enjoyed his time under Bradley but playing under Klinsmann will have added meaning. Chandler was born in Frankfurt and Klinsmann was an iconic figure for him and all other German-born players of his generation.
"It's definitely something special to play for a legend like Klinsmann," Chandler told YA. "I'm excited to work for him. I can't wait to see how everything will go and to see what he will bring to training."
This year has been a spectacular year for Chandler who made the first team at FC Nurnberg in January after the winter break and emerged as one of the one of the most promising fullbacks in the Bundesliga. It was his strong play that helped FC Nurnberg finish to an unexpectedly high sixth place in the league.
At the start of the 2011/12 season Chandler has picked up where he left off. On Saturday he played very well as Nurnberg picked up an important 1-0 win over Augsburg for their second win of the year.
Chandler is part of a growing number of players in the US player pool that has roots in the German Bundesliga. On the current roster Chandler is joined by Hoffenheim's Fabian Johnson and Hannover's Steve Cherundolo who are currently based in Germany.
In addition to those players, Landon Donovan has played in the league and national team regulars like Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones who are not on the current roster are both based on Bundesliga teams. There are also many top American prospects coming up through the ranks at various German clubs.
Chandler is proud to be a part of the growing German trend and knows that it will help bring the US national team to another level.
"It's definitely bringing an advantage since the German Bundsliga is one of the most respected leagues in europe and the world," Chandler said confidently. "It will definitely inject a high level of quality into the US national team."
Chandler has yet to meet Klinsmann but he has been in contact with him recently. In the day ahead of the Augsburg game, Chandler received a boost of confidence when he received a text message from his new coach.
"Yesterday Coach Klinsmann texted me to say that he was looking forward to meeting me and getting to know me," Chandler revealed. "I replied to tell him that I was looking forward to the camp, to thank him for the nomination, and that I am ready to get to work for the US team."
Chandler does not know exactly what to expect in playing under Klinsmann but he optimistic that the coaching change will be for the better. Chandler is ready to play a more German style and he believes the US team will flourish under that approach.
"I can't say too much about the future, but I think we'll be playing more German-style soccer than the American style we played with Coach Bradley," Chandler concluded. "I'm confident it will be a positive experience for all of us on the US team."