By FRANCO PANIZO
It does not look to be all doom and gloom as far the U.S. Men’s National Team’s right back situation is concerned. At least, not on this weekend.
A number of the right backs in the U.S. player pool had noteworthy performances, but none may have been bigger than that of Steve Cherundolo. The veteran defender made his much-awaited return to Hannover’s starting lineup on Saturday, playing 81 minutes in the club’s 2-1 loss to SC Freiburg. The match marked the 34-year-old Cherundolo’s first start for Hannover since their 2012-13 regular season finale back in May and should give U.S. fans some optimism about the national team’s right back heading into 2014.
While Cherundolo’s return is likely to be the biggest talking point of the weekend, Geoff Cameron should not be too far behind. Cameron earned his latest start at right back for Stoke City on Saturday, and delivered a game-winning assist in a 2-1 victory vs. Brad Guzan and Aston Villa. Cameron whipped in a deep cross from the right flank that was somewhat fortuitous in reaching Peter Crouch in the 70th minute, but the assist still helped the Potters get back to winning ways and may indicate that Cameron’s crossing is improving.
Two other right back to see playing time were Timmy Chandler and Eric Lichaj. Chandler continued his string of starts for Nurnberg in their scoreless draw with Jermaine Jones and Schalke, and Lichaj came off the bench and played the final 45 minutes in Nottingham Forest’s goal-less affair vs. Birmingham City.
Here is how the Americans Abroad fared this weekend:
- Tim Howard started and played 90 minutes in Everton’s 2-1 win vs. Swansea City on Sunday.
- Jozy Altidore started and played 68 minutes in Sunderland’s 0-0 draw vs. Norwich City on Saturday.
- Geoff Cameron started, played 90 minutes and had an ASSIST in Stoke City’s 2-1 win vs. Aston Villa on Saturday. You can see the assist here.
- Brek Shea did not dress for Stoke City.
- Maurice Edu did not dress for Stoke City.
- Brad Guzan started and played 90 minutes in Aston Villa’s 2-1 loss vs. Stoke City on Saturday.
- Brad Friedel dressed but did not play in Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-2 win vs. Southampton on Sunday.
- Cody Cropper dressed but did not play in Southampton’s 3-2 loss vs. Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
- Jonathan Spector did not dress in Birmingham City’s 0-0 draw vs. Nottingham Forest on Saturday. He is recovering from a thigh injury.
- Tim Ream started and played 90 minutes in Bolton Wanderers’ 1-1 draw vs. Charlton Athletic on Saturday.
- Stuart Holden did not dress for Bolton Wanderers. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- Zak Whitbread did not dress in Derby County’s 3-1 win vs. Doncaster Rovers on Saturday. He is recovering from a calf injury.
- Eric Lichaj came off the bench and played 45 minutes in Nottingham Forest’s 0-0 draw vs. Birmingham City on Saturday.
- Danny Williams started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Reading’s 2-1 loss vs. Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
- Oguchi Onyewu did not dress in Queens Park Rangers’ 1-0 loss vs. Leicester City on Saturday.
- Duane Holmes came off the bench and played 30 minutes in Huddersfield Town’s 0-0 draw vs. Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
- Michael Bradley started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in AS Roma’s 4-0 win vs. Catania on Sunday.
- Fabian Johnson started and played 90 minutes in TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s 1-0 loss vs. TSV Eintracht Braunschweig on Saturday.
- Joe Gyau did not dress for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
- Timmy Chandler started and played 90 minutes in FC Nurnberg’s 0-0 draw vs. Schalke 04 on Saturday.
- Michael Parkhurst did not dress in FC Augsburg’s 1-1 draw vs. Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday.
- Jermaine Jones started and played 90 minutes in Schalke 04′s 0-0 draw vs. FC Nurnberg on Saturday.
- Steve Cherundolo started and played 81 minutes in Hannover 96′s 2-1 loss vs. SC Freiburg on Saturday.
- John Brooks did not dress in Hertha Berlin’s 2-1 win vs. Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
- Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt 04 play Kaiserslautern on Monday.
- Bobby Wood dressed but did not play in TSV 1860 Munich’s 2-2 draw vs. Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
- Alejandro Bedoya started and played 90 minutes in FC Nantes’ 2-0 loss vs. St Etienne on Saturday.
- Aron Johannsson started, played 90 minutes and scored a GOAL in AZ Alkmaar’s 5-1 loss vs. SC Heerenveen on Saturday.
- Sacha Kljestan did not dress in RSC Anderlecht’s 1-1 draw vs. Standard Liege on Sunday. He is recovering from a calf injury.
What do you think of these performances? Think Cherundolo can stay healthy and make a serious push to be on the U.S.’s World Cup roster? Is Cameron the best right back option? Hoping Chandler receives a call-up before the tournament in Brazil?
Share your thoughts below.