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Cherundolo trains on his own due to “persistent knee problems”

SteveCherundoloHannover1-Freiburg2013 (Hannover96)


Steve Cherundolo’s chances of playing at the 2014 World Cup could be in jeopardy.

Multiple outlets in Germany reported on Wednesday morning that the 34-year-old right back trained individually at Hannover’s training ground due to “persistent knee problems.” Cherundolo missed large chunks of the last 12 months due to injuries in his left knee and underwent three different surgeries.

The U.S. Men’s National Team regular made his first appearance this season on Dec. 1 coming off the bench, and started and played 81 minutes in Hannover’s last match on Dec. 21 in a 2-1 defeat to Freiburg. The report didn’t state whether Cherundolo would be available for Hannover’s first match following the Bundesliga winter break, this Saturday against Wolfsburg.

Cherundolo started in two of Hannover’s friendly matches during the winter break, going 45 minutes in a 0-0 draw with Hertha Berlin and the full 90 last Thursday in a defeat to Fenerbahce. Hannover are currently in 13th place in the Bundesliga and haven’t won since the start of December. Hannover replaced head coach Mirko Slomka at the end of December with Turkish manager Tayfun Korkut.

The American defender has not featured for the USMNT since October 2012, missing the entire Hexagonal qualification round due to his recurring knee injuries. USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has used a number of different players at right back in Cherundolo’s place, including Brad Evans, Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, and Eric Lichaj.

Cherundolo’s next opportunity to play for the USMNT comes on March 5 with a trip to Ukraine.


What do you think of these developments? Worried about Cherundolo’s persistent injury problems? Think he is still the first choice right back when healthy?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Well, all signs point to Cameron starting at right back in June, barring a miraculous run by Cherundolo. It’s sad, but probably the best for the USMNT, since he could be an injury-prone liability at the world cup.

  2. Based on performance with the Nats, count me among those who thinks Evans will and should be the starter in Brazil. No one is going to stand up alone to Ronaldo, so throw that out. Klinsy trusts him, and he played a key role during qualies. Kudos to Klinsy for this unconventional find

  3. I think people forget that Chandler played left back under Bob. That ability to play left and right back is huge factor for the WC. Chandler’s pace is incredible and could you imagine a left side with Chandler and Fabian Johnson . A back line of Chandler ( LB), Besler ( CB ), Goodson, Cameroon (RB). That is solid

  4. this is too bad for Dolo, i think it all but sums up his WC fate. despite Klinsmann clearly still preferring Evans as the RB, my guess is that’ll change now that Cameron has really become comfortable and familiar with RB. i think it would be a mistake to play him at CB where he has not played consistently in a long time. Omar/Besler make much more sense at CB. i truly think it’ll come down to Cameron and Chandler at RB by the time the WC rolls around. i’ll bet my bank account that Chandler is in camp for the Ukraine game and will get a chance to prove himself.

      • the door is not shut on a starting RB in the Bundesliga. he dropped off for multiple reasons, including terrible form. but before the break he was back to playing great.

        he recently (winter 2013) spoke to the US press and said he has never felt better and said his head is on straight. if his form continues once the winter break is over, there is no way Chandler isn’t called up for Ukraine. and i think there he’ll prove he deserves to be back in the team and i’m sure he’ll make amends with the team, if he hasn’t already. he did say in the same interview he is in constant contact with other US players who keep telling him to work hard.

      • I don’t think we have the depth at fullback to shut the door on anyone in the pool, specifically a fullback capable of providing adequate cover at both left and right back. That goes even moreso when you look at the group we’ve been drawn into.

        Think about it. We’re rolling into games with Ghana, Portugal and Germany with a 31 year old, slight-of-build converted winger as our #1 LB, and a career MLS midfielder as our #1 RB. Our best LB also happens to be our best option at LM (Fabian), the one guy in the team recently who plays RB at a high level (Cameron) is a guy the coach sees more as a CB than anything else. Looking past them, our most talented RB is a soon to be 35 year old with bad knees, and our third choice LB (Castillo) is a menace going forward but even admits himself that defending isn’t his best asset.

        Now, I’m saying that I think Chandler should be in the team. He’s in a race with the aforementioned Evans and Cameron, as well as guys like Lichaj, Yedlin, Myers, Klute and a slew of other guys. Like I said before, I just don’t think we have the depth or talent to shut the door on anyone who could potentially contribute.

  5. Personally I’m not a fan of Cameron as a center back. Perhaps it’s because he doesn’t see any minutes there but he often finds him self out of position. I remember the play against Scotland where he went for an interception and missed it giving them numbers going at goal. Also Cameron’s strength is when he has the ball at his feet and why I’d rather see him in a position where he can get forward.

  6. As much as I was hoping Dolo would be able to return from injury….I never really expected it to happen. He’s played at a high level for the US for a long time, but age and injuried ultimately catch up to all players.
    The Feb & March friendly will be very telling as to how players stack-up in the pool across the board. The best performers from Feb. will get invites to March. The players selected in March will in all likelyhood be the same as those getting tickets come May/June for the WC. There are a lot of questions still to be answered, and a lot of club games to be played between now and then.
    As far as outside back goes we do have options….and I wouldn’t be suprised to see any 4 of them claim starter or backup. (RB – Cameron, Evans, Lichaj, Chandler…LB – Beasley, F. Johnson, Lichaj, Chandler, and the Darkhorse – Klute).
    CB: Besler, Cameron, Gonzalez, Goodson, Brooks
    Center Midfield will be interesting…especially if Jones doesn’t secure a transfer or loan soon. Bradley, Jones, Diskerud, Cameron, Beckerman, D. Williams are the top 6 options.
    Wide Midfield, next to outside back, is the most open to change. Again there are options….question is who will step up and claim the spots beyond Donovan. (Donovan, F. Johnson, Bedoya, Zusi, Davis, EJ, Shea, Corona, Gomez, Magee, whoever is hot in April/May)
    CAM/Withdrawn Forward: Dempsey, Donovan, Johannsson, Diskerude, Gomez, Agudelo, Magee, Wondo
    Striker: Jozy, Boyd, EJ, Agudelo, Gomez,

  7. Cherundolo has been a loyal soldier, but now lacks the pace and quickness to play RB at the international level, especially in a World Cup – even if fully healthy. Even though he provides great service (and probably could survive just fine in certain match-ups), he would be exposed overall. It is the unfortunate, but true, facts of the matter.

  8. We could use a health Dolo in this WC. but with knee problems, I think you have to consider Chandler. There have been reports that USMNT personnel have been watching him play and that he is playing well. If he is committed and playing well for his club, he has to be considered. However, time is running out for him.

  9. I am one of the guy’s biggest fans, but I even I think this set back is it. He won’t be on the squad. I know I will get mocked, but Yedlin now has a serious chance of making the squad.

    Go ahead and makle fun. I’ll come back in three months with my “I told you so’s”. Or not…

    • Nope, I completely agree. Yedlin has an incredible chance, and I hope he does well. Despite my handle I can respect a youngster who is starting to realize his potential. I hope he is dynamic and healthy for the US and is in form for Brazil.

    • I for one won’t mock. I was really hoping to get Cherundolo back, but if he can’t go, JK almost has to roll the dice on Yedlin.

      I have great respect for Evans as a player, but all you have to do is literally watch any Seattle game to see the massive difference in athleticism between the two. Yedlin might be young…but he has world-class physical tools and is easily one of the top 2-3 pure athletes in the US pool. He’s got pace, change of direction, and is a constant threat to get up the field and do damage from the RB spot.

      I think some of it hinges on what JK decides to do with Cameron. If Cameron gets the nod at RB, I think Evans, who has paid his dues, probably goes to Brazil as Cameron’s backup and Yedlin stays home. If JK still regards Cameron as a CB, Yedlin goes, and possibly starts. If JK just regards Cameron as a utility guy who will be potentially the first off the bench at holding mid, CB, and RB…Yedlin goes, and again, probably starts.

      Personally I think JK only takes three dedicated CB’s – Gonzalez, Besler, and Goodson, and I do think he takes Cameron as #4, with the idea that Cameron gives you a guy who can start at three different positions…and that probably does indeed open up a slot that will go to either Yedlin…or possibly Brek Shea, who IMHO is absolutely going to be on the plane, mostly because while Shea can stink on ice, he can also break a game when you can get him on an athletic mismatch and just let him run at a tired defense.

      Actually I think both go, mostly because I don’t see JK taking any more than three dedicated forwards to Brazil – Altidore/Johanssen/E. Johnson, mostly because Dempsey and Donovan can also play up top.

  10. Agreed with many here that say Dolo should go out on top (injuries have caught on with him).

    Also agree that Cameron is a much better defender than Evans, but both lack pace.

    Have y’all forgotten Cameron at RB against Belgium last year? I believe that was the last time JK put him at RB…. He gave up two goals, not to mention the nightmare he had defending against any Belgium player with decent pace who ventured and attacked his space.

    He did however scored and got one back for the US…. Jeoff deserves a spot but not as RB.

  11. Everyone has Cameron as the #1 RB, and I am fine with that, but JK has said repeatedly that Evans is currently the #1. If he has said anything different lately, I haven’t heard it. Believe it or not, I think Evans might be just a hair better in attack, while Cameron is better in the air. Also Evans last outing for the USMNT wasn’t his best. Lichaj actually looked better.

    • don’t think so, DCUnitedWillRiseAgain. I am assuming you have not seen Cameron play this season at Stoke, because he has developed tremendously as an attacker, much better than Evans IMO. That said, a strong case could be made to put Evans on the plane to Brazil. I would like to see Klinsmann test Evans in the midfield. As for Lichah, his secret weapon for a Brazil ticket could be his ability to play not only right back well, but also left back, where apparently he was playing for Nottingham before his injury. Man, Klinsmann gonna have some tough decisions narrowing the roster to 23. (And, pleez, can we stop the calls to cap-tie Julian Green in Brazil. Give me a break. The kid is not yet ready for the Big Show.)

    • It’s amazing how people continue to dismiss Evans from the equation. Many people don’t even include his name in the conversation, let alone consider him the starter. He’s clearly Klinsmann’s #1 RB at this point and has been for a long time.

      • Barring injury or a drop on form, I think we see Evans in Brazil. He gave a lot in World Cup Qualifying and showed his will to win. But I don’t see him starting at right back over Cameron. and that is one reason I think Klinsmann should finally test him at midfield, his club position. He might be a revelation there. I could see him pairing up well with Jermaine Jones.

      • when asked about the usmnt’s first eleven: “Our right back is Brad Evans,” Klinsmann added. “He has that spot. Behind Brad there is some space.”

        this is not an old quote. this is what klinsmann said during the scotland/austria friendlies in november. what do you think has changed, or will change, in the next few months?

        keep in mind–in november, cameron had already been playing well for some time at stoke, as he is now. and evans has the (unusual) advantage of not regularly playing right back, so there’s little chance he’ll play himself out of his starting spot with the usmnt.

      • I thought Klinsmann made the Evans comment in October. In any case, a few weeks after the Evans statement, Klinsmann in one of his rambling interviews finally sort of admitted that Cameron has developed into a damm good right back. It seemed to me he was softening on the issue. Honestly, I cannot imagine next June in Brazil Evans starting at right back with Cameron on the bench.

      • i agree that cameron *should* start over evans. but i’ve thought that for some time now, while evans has still been starting over cameron.

        so while i would like to believe that cameron starts at RB in brasil, i just don’t think it’s that likely, based on history and klinsmann’s comments.

      • Whether it is a starter or second coice RB remains to be seen, but I do I agree we see Evans in Brazil. I will say, Cameron’s game getting forward is significantly improved the last few times I’ve seen him w/ Stoke and I think he is a better defender than Evans.

        Wait… do you really mean…. Evans leapfrogging Bradley at mid or as another option off the bench? I don’t think Bradley is going anywhere, but we shall see. Personally, I have many more concerns about Jones maintaining form with his club situation or lack thereof.

      • I’m not saying Cameron can’t still win the starting RB job, just that it’s getting a lot less likely. Evans has been the consistent #1 RB for a year now… maybe it’s time to believe Klinsmann is serious about starting him in Brazil? JK’s lineup choices on March 5 vs. Ukraine are going to be the most telling. If Cameron continues in great form with Stoke, maybe he gets an opportunity then, but it’s still Evans’ job to lose.

        Evans’ versatility is certainly one of his strengths, but it’s hard to foresee JK experimenting with positions at this point. It sounds strange to say, given that Evans regularly plays midfield with Seattle, but doing so with the USMNT is a different matter entirely. Evans is a depth option at best in midfield. I could envision a scenario where Evans shifts from RB to MF during a late-game defensive substitution, with say, Cameron coming in at RB to replace a forward.

      • I was kinda joking, whoop-whoop. That said, I do think some USMNT fans overrate Bradley and I sometimes think there might be possible midfield combinations without MB in the line-up that would make the sum of all the parts higher–in other words, make the USMNT a better team. For example, I am a huge Joe Corona fan and I could see him, or Mix, playing as defensive midfielder but with primary attacking responsibilities when appropriate. No doubt in my mind that both Corona and Mix are much better attackers than MB, and I think an in-form Jermaine Jones is a much better defender than MB. I don’t think Klinsmann should paint himself in a corner that MB is a 100% lock to start. I am not saying MB should be benched, only that is should be an option (like it was at Roma). And it could be that a Corona/MB pairing would be awesome.

        As for JJ-0-yyr, I agree with you 100%. He’s got 9 days to find a new team where he will play. If he fails to find a new club, there is a chance Schalke will freeze him out and let him rot for the rest of contract and then Klinsmann would have a real hard time justifying calling up his good buddy Jermaine. I like Jones and hope he finds a good new club, like Sunderland. Jones and his impending transfer is a huge USMNT story with huge implications and (cough, cough) we are getting no news coverage on it. On a side note, I think that MB retiring to MLS before Jones had the chance might have deflated Jones’s MLS value by quite a bit. Think Maurice Edu.

      • Its weird there not even rumors around Jones at the moment. Reports at the start of the transfer season were Schalke were even ready to just let him walk, so I could see them just not even dressing him the rest of the year.

      • just to add about Evans, I was skeptical in the beginning, but he convinced me. I have no doubt he has the mental (and physical) toughness for the international game and on his good days can contribute. So I think chances are high he goes to Brazil. And if Jones does not find a new club or simply his form drops and/or Bradley gets fat and lazy in Toronto, Evans could be an option in the midfield pairing with Jones or MB or Corona or Mix or on and on. We are stacked midfield. Gotta fight for a spot.

      • I am a big fan of Corona and think he offers vision and creativity other options in the midfield lack. Unfortunately, with the management change at TJ he isn’t getting the same amount of playing time he was and his chances of even making the plane to Brazil are suffering as a result. Stylistically, in a general sense, I think that with his the stability he provides with his decision making and accurate passing, workrate and toughness, that Bradley could excel at the defensive mid role we sometimes see Beckerman in connecting the D with the offense, paired with a more offensive option like Mixx or Corona. BUT… I start thinking of the pending mission and those 2s slight build/defensive game vs the likes of Germany and Ghana… I hope JJ lands in a nice spot and comes into WC in peak form.

      • Oh and… I concur about Evans…. was very skeptical at first, but he has exceeded my expectations and proven to be resilient, smart and solid. I can’t help but think that Cameron has greater potential and hope that it continues to manifest to the point where Evans is pushed back into a role as a substitute RB I can live with.

    • I think JK makes a lot of bizarre decisions but picking an MLS midfielder at right back instead of a guy playing very well at RB every week in the EPL makes no sense and makes a mockery of JK’s claims that you’re supposed to test yourself at the highest level. Cameron can always fill in at CB if needed since JK apparently still thinks this is his best position despite all evidence to the contrary.

      • This.
        It goes against JK’s M.O. completely. He says players need to go find challenges abroad and be “uncomfortable” and “play at the highest level”. Cameron went against arguably the worlds best player last week in Suarez and did well against ‘pool. I don’t see how that’s not “challenging yourself”.

  12. I see no reason as to why we should bring Chandler in for a run at Brasil2014. Ever since getting the luxury of a national team call up (as it would have NEVER happened with Germany) he has done nothing but disappoint in most of his caps. The debacle he had in Honduras last Feb was unbelievable. He more than anyone got me sour about these GermanYanks filling up roster spots. I have since been able to cope with most of these players as they have really taken to the USMNT and really started to show pride in putting the strip on but he still hasn’t. Choosing to forgo chances to solidify his USMNT place for a few holidays and/or minor phantom injuries.

    The guy is a joke at the moment and the child-bearing hips thing gets to me as well. He looks stiff all the time. Dolo would be a great backup for Cameron as I still do not think Omar has solidified anything either………..

  13. Wouldn’t be surprised if he calls it a career. And a great one at that. He could easily move into a coaching spot at Hannover – they town already calls him “Mayor of Hannover.” But I hope he recovers and gets to go out on his own terms. Best of luck, Steve. I know you read SBI…

  14. Cameron fills starting RB and backup CB. Then we only have to carry 7 in the backline. we can add an extra forward. cap julian green.

    • +1 although not completely sold on Green yet but bringing another attacker/midfielder could be useful.

      too bad for Steve but i think its time to step into the next stage of his career.

    • Can the guy at least play one single league match before we all slobber over him? We’re going to determine what players go to the world cup based on a scheme to trick an 18 year old kid to commit to us? We’re better than this as a soccer nation. Time for our fans to realize this.

      • Also aren’t you risking really damaging the kind of team spirit they have now, if you so blatantly use a roster spot only to cap a player who hasn’t earned it. When other guys have come into countless camps and played important matches to get the team to Brazil.

    • you don’t call up a kid who is just breaking into a first-team 6 months before a world cup. give him some time before we “adu-crown” him, that is if he would even play for us anyway.

      • JK did this with David Odonkor in 2006. He didn’t have as much hype as Green (and, interestingly, did nothing notable after his one excellent sub performance in WC 2006), but you better believe German fans will grill the manager over every questionable roster inclusion. JK isn’t afraid to take this sort of risk. If Green is willing to go to Brazil, I bet he gets a ticket.

    • Under the Chandler concept I can’t see us capping him before or at Brazil, no matter how good he is supposed to be. He’s not committed to us, hasn’t showed up to work with the team and establish his value. Klinsi seems big on earning your spurs. I think he was given his window and it’s now closed for this cycle.

      I’d also throw out that under the ex-girlfriend rules, there is nothing to be gained by calling up the ex all the time. I understand a Lichaj-type criticism where a player is left out regardless of their level of interest, but less so a Green advocacy when he just said no. Move on.

      • I agree if Green wanted to go to the World Cup he could have come into the group for the friendlies in Europe. He didn’t so lets move on until after Brazil.

      • 100% guarantee he will be in Ukraine and while he isn’t a lock for Brazil at all, his odds are good and this news is a big boost.

        you do realize he has already played for the US in a meaningful game and is capped, right?

  15. With the utmost respect for dolo, even if he is able to fully heal and actually start playing games for Hannover in the next few weeks, it would still seem that his chances of jumping ahead of Geoff Cameron for the starting right back slot in Brazil are about zero. The more likely scenario would be dolo fighting for a back-up spot. He would no doubt provide good chemistry for the team and leadership and experience. But even with that, Klinsmann might still prefer to have the younger legs of Evans or Lichaj or even Parkhurst, all three fighters willing to sweat blood for the team.

    • It reminds me of Lindsey Vonn trying to ski without an ACL. I know they are talented, competitive, and don’t quit — that’s part of how you get where they are — and I know they may think they owe it to their teams and sponsors, but at a certain point it’s silly. You can’t ski if your knee is going to buckle everywhere (she has to get it fixed for basic competence), and if your knee is so tender for soccer they don’t let you train with the team, maybe it’s time to hang them up. He’s had a long run. If we put him out there he’d probably do a “Boca” or “Gooch” and leave a lasting bad memory in one of his last caps, either coming off on a stretcher or getting burned. Go out on top. His place in US Soccer history is secure.

  16. This confirms what many have been calling for. Geoff Cameron will start for us in Brazil and I am quite happy with that. Although I’m sure Ronaldo is as well.

      • Ronaldo is the guy who can’t be stopped ever by anyone no matter what you do forever no give-backs!

        Okay, now that we’re done with hyperbole, let’s try to recognize that it is actually possible to contain Ronaldo, that he doesn’t score every game, and that saying “Cameron will be fine” is not the same as saying “Cameron will totally neutralize Ronaldo.”

      • Him saying that cameron will be fine vs ronaldo implies that he will do a good job defending ronaldo. Considering ronaldo is arguably the best player in the world, chances of cameron (a defender for a bottom half epl team) having a good game vs ronaldo are slim. If portugal is to be prevented from scoring its going to take all the defense working hard. Its almost a certainty that ronald will get past cameron a couple times, which is ok if someone else is sharp and ready to defend him. So will cameron be able to contain him alone and have a “fine” game? Most likely not. But If the defense as a whole has a fine game. Then any player can be contained

      • Agreed: in a game of one-on-one, there is no chance of Cameron being “fine” against Ronaldo.

        But because soccer is not a game of one-on-one and because Cameron’s role will be to work with his fellow defenders to contain Ronaldo (and the rest of the Portuguese offense), I don’t see the point of lamenting over the greatness of Ronaldo compared to the averageness of Cameron.

        In other words, saying that “Cameron will be fine vs Ronaldo” does *not* imply that “he will do a good job defending Ronaldo.” Rather, it implies that Cameron will not be a liability—that he will not be burned so badly by Ronaldo that there will be an irremediably gaping hole in the US defense. Which is pretty much where you get to by the end of your comment anyway….

  17. Well, this isn’t good, for him especially. I hope he recovers so that Klinsmann has to make a decision about him. At 34 with a bum knee, it’s hard to see him going to Brazil to play for the US.

      • I dont think thats the case anymore. he wanted cameron there but has realized he will not get time with Stoke. he is the defacto RB no doubt.

      • It’s close to certain that Evans will make to Brazil unless he is injured. All you can hope for is that he doesn’t play. I am fine to leave it up to Klinsmann

      • Okay I know Evans is a bit of a fluke playing there out of position, and could even understand why you might not want Parkhurst, but Lichaj? What exactly has he done to upset you? He had played like 20 minutes since August 2011 when Klinsmann took over, before that he played great at Left Back in the gold cup under Bob Bradley?

      • The defacto RB is Brad Evans and there’s no evidence that JK thinks otherwise. Evans has started every game he’s been available. He didn’t start vs. Austria due to a groin issue – he wasn’t benched or leapfrogged by Cameron. There’s every reason to expect Evans is the starter in Brazil.

      • Cameron is our best CB and RB, JK has preferred him at CB and I can see no reason why JK would want to move him to RB.

      • I think Besler is a better CB than Cameron, but you’re right, he is definitely the choice RB in my opinion. I also rate Cameron higher than Gonzalez.

      • I wonder if Klinsmann is thinking about taking 4 or 5 CBs. Right now, it seems he will take Besler, Gonzalez and Goodson. Will he take a fourth in someone like Brooks? Or will Cameron count as a fourth CB in terms of flexibility – he can play RB too. If that’s the case, Klinsmann can take two actual RBs – Evans and perhaps Chandler or someone else if Steve can’t make it.

      • Why the hate on Brad Evans? Eurosnobbery? Judge him by his performances on the NATs, and he seems to be only getting better at position as he gets more international experience. He’s the starter now. Personally, I’d rather see a Besler/Cameron centerback pairing then move Cameron to RB.

    • Even if he continues working towards the goal in terms of form and fitness, at some point his general health history enters into the analysis independent of his health at any given minute. Put differently, do I let a guy with a gimpy knee consume a roster spot? To me it’s like Boca and Gooch, at his age with his recent history, it’s more risk than upside.

      You could say the same thing about Holden too. If he gets “healthy” for a period right before Brazil, do you burn a roster spot on him knowing he could have a Gold Cup-style re-aggravation?


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