By FRANCO PANIZO
Some help might soon be on the way for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s problematic right back spot.
According to a report from Bild, Timmy Chandler resumed doing some light ball-work at Nurnberg practice earlier this week, marking the first time he has done so since suffering a knee injury in a match against Bayern Munich on Feb. 8. Some media reports had said Chandler would miss the remainder of the season, but the 24-year-old fullback believes he is healthy enough to partake in normal team training on Wednesday and be available for the match versus Mainz on April 26.
Nurnberg could certainly use a boost right now. The club is currently in the Bundesliga’s relegation zone and realistically three points away from automatic safety with four matches remaining in the season. Nurnberg are one point shy of the relegation playoff spot that is currently held by Hamburg.
If Chandler were to return to action, it could open the door for him to be summoned by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for next month’s pre-World Cup camp. The Americans’ right back situation has been in flux in recent months, and is one of the positions that most observers are concerned about heading into a World Cup that will see the U.S. face Ghana, Portugal and Germany.
The top candidates right now to earn the U.S.’s starting right back position are Geoff Cameron, Brad Evans, Michael Parkhurst and Tony Beltran.
The Americans will begin their pre-World Cup camp in the middle of May, and Klinsmann has said he will bring in more than 23 players before trimming down the roster to oblige with FIFA’s regulations for this summer’s tournament in Brazil.
What do you think of Chandler’s progress? Think he will play again this season for Nurnberg? Should Klinsmann call him into the preliminary World Cup camp regardless of whether or how well he plays at the club level just to see if he is a realistic option?
Share your thoughts below.