Photo by ISIPhotos.com
by IVES GALARCEP
Timmy Chandler is done playing for the current German Bundesliga season, and could wind up missing the U.S. Men’s National Team’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers after being sidelined with what is being reported as a torn knee ligament suffered during a training session with German side Nuremberg.
The timetable on the injury is a three-to-four week recovery, which would have him back after the start of U.S. Men’s National Team camp, which kicks off later this month. With qualifiers scheduled for June 7th (at Jamaica), 11th (vs. Panama) and 18th (vs. Honduras), Chander could theoretically be back in time, but there is no guarantee he would be able to regain match fitness in time to play in those qualifiers.
Chandler missed the U.S. team’s most recent qualifiers, in March, due to what was reported at the time as an injury, but he proceeded to start and play 90 minutes in Nuremberg’s first match after those qualifiers. That helped revive some lingering questions about his commitment to the U.S. team.
Chandler was cap-tied to the United States after starting in the team’s qualifying loss in Honduras in February, which settled any questions about him potentially holding out for a call-up from Germany, but his absence in March, and subsequent appearance for Nuremberg less than a week later raised some eyebrows.
Chandler was not guaranteed to have a regular starting place for the U.S. in the upcoming matches, what with Steve Cherundolo and Geoff Cameron serving as the leading candidates to start at right back. Left back is another option for Chandler, but Fabian Johnson’s presence and DaMarcus Beasley’s return to form have given Jurgen Klinsmann options there as well.
And if Chandler can’t recover in time for the upcoming qualifiers? He might wind up skipping the summer entirely, what with Klinsmann making it clear he won’t call in European-based players for the Gold Cup who don’t take part in the May-June matches. That said, Klinsmann could choose to bring Chandler into May camp to let him rehabilitate the knee with the U.S. team, with an eye toward having him play a role in the qualifiers against Panama and Honduras.
What do you think of this development? Disappointed that he probably won’t feature in the upcoming qualifiers? Are you over the whole Tim Chandler saga? Think the USMNT need him?
Share your thoughts below.