U.S. Men's National Team

Chandler impresses in USMNT debut


photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com



EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – When head coach Bob Bradley told Timmy Chandler that he'd be entering the U.S. national team's match against Argentina for his international debut, the 20-year-old right back's reaction was not one of a newcomer getting ready to face the best player in the world in Lionel Messi in his first cap.

Instead of feeling anxious, overjoyed or overwhelmed by the moment that was about to present itself, the German-born son of an American serviceman and German woman solely focused on the task at hand. 

""I was not nervous, I don't know why," said Chandler, who speaks limited English. "I think I played what I can so I could help the team."

That he did.

After suffering one of the worst first half outings in recent memory by chasing Messi and the talented and savvy Argentine squad, the United States received a boost when Chandler and fellow youngster Juan Agudelo entered the 1-0 game at the start of the second half.

Instead of seeing Messi, Angel Di Maria, Esteban Cambiasso and the rest of the Argentines knock the ball around from end to end and side to side with the ease, the United States was able to get into a rhythm offensively with the help of Chandler.

The Nurnberg defender made several good runs forward and whipped in at least three good crosses that could've led to goalscoring opportunities. He did not play a part in the equalizing goal scored by Agudelo in the 59th minute, but it was evident that Chandler helped keep Argentina on its toes since entering the match.

"He was a good outlet for us," said Jay DeMerit. "In the first half, we didn't use our outlets as well, and in the second half we definitely did so. And for him to come on in this type of situation shows the type of character he is and that's a positive as well."

Defensively, Chandler did get beat a few times by Ezequiel Lavezzi but he always seemed to recover, in large part due to his speed.

"I thought he played very well," said DeMerit. "He got up and down, he recovered well, played some very good balls into the box, and that's what you always ask from your right back. I thought he did all of those things very well tonight.

Chandler's forays into Argentina's final third were arguably his most impressive contributions on the night, as the precise and powerful crosses he delivered helped the Americans attack a back line that was troubled little in the first half. 

"For a player who now comes on for the first time, it was a good first (45 minutes)," said Bradley. "He helped the team a lot. As we worked with Timmy this week, his movements coming forward are good, his crossing I think has been good. I thought he got three good crosses in tonight."

Chandler delivered that type of performance despite playing with a team he's known for about a week, but he credited that to his teammates' warm welcome.

"The team was very good," said Chandler. "They all talked to me and so, it's good. They are like family. Tim Howard talked a lot to me.

"Jermaine (Jones) speaks some German and helped me train when I don't understand something."

Chandler may be grateful for the reception he received from his new team, but they seemed equally as thankful to have him on their side.

"So far he's come in with a really good way about him," said Bradley. "Maybe nervous the first day but after that, eager, and I know this was a good way to get going."

  • r.benjamin

    I’m usually one of the first ones to say I’m not sure a MF with Bradley is our best.

    But after last night I concede something. Bradley is gritty. He does a lot of dirty work and gets stuck in when we’re playing an opponent better than us. For long stretches he was my man of the match for the single reason that he was the bull dog forcing argentina into a direction that allowed a US defender to intercept.

    Now I still think against equal or lesser opponents M.Bradley isn’t technical or fluid enough.. but in a bunker down game he has to play.


  • r.benjamin

    I’d like to see this tried out..

    However.. How about Landon in the center midfield role. More a recessed forward where he can be dangerous (Behind Agudelo?). Dempsey and Chandler on the wings. Bradley/Edu or Jones behind them.


  • Brian

    Very fitting comparison, especially since Sanneh is the one who contacted (he played for Nuernberg back in the day) Chandler about playing for the USMNT


  • Brian

    Yeah you would give him a +2 for Gooch at LB. Why are you pimping at LB all over this site? He’s too goddamn slow to play LB.


  • Brian

    A bunch of them just came out of nowhere all of a sudden:

    Jones, Chandler, Yelldell and you still have Daniel Williams and that Huerzeler kid who plays for Bayern Munich. I’m sure there others in the youth ranks of German clubs that we don’t know about. Anyone know if Fabian Johnson who plays for Wolfsburg is part American?


  • abc

    You forgot German youth team forward Shawn Parker. Cross your fingers that Germany doesn’t think he’s good enough for their national team and he switches to the US.


  • cheez

    No, we have all AMERICANS on the US national team.

    This isn’t the case of years ago where we were trolling for absolutely anyone who could find an excuse to play for the US, then push immigration (Regis). Jones & Chandler are Americans by birth. Agudelo has been here for 10 years (more than half his life) and is naturalized.

    Unless you are 100% Native American, you are just as much of an immigrant as those 3.


  • patrick

    dempsey is an offensive player, however you want to slice it. There’s only 6 players in the EPL that have more goals than him and he’s played all over the offensive 2/3 of the field this year and last. He’s played up top as an out and out forward, hes played as a withdrawn forward, as an attacking mid and as an outside midfielder. What you call him is irrelevant, its more about what his responsibilities/expectation are.


  • Brent McD

    Finally a defender with some speed. That starting back line of Boca/DeMerit/Gooch/Spector is wayyyy tooooo slooooooowwwwww


  • patrick

    how quickly we forget who gooch was before he hurt his knee. Not sure if you’re a youngster or what, but Gooch wa s a dominant defender on a champions league team for numerous years before he hurt his knee. He’s never been a great distributor of the ball, nor have we really asked him to be. He can (and has) shut down some of the best forwards we’ve played against (think back to the confeds cup) and was voted onto the belgian league’s best XI twice, and was ALSO named best foreign player in that league.

    Gooch played awful last night theres no question, but he’s been one of our most consistent and best performers since he came onto the picture in 2005and doesnt need blackmail to make the team.


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