In an interview with US Soccer that was released earlier today, German-born defender Timmy Chandler ended all speculation by announcing his commitment to the United States national team.
Chandler told the federation's website “I spent a lot of time thinking this over. I have had many conversations with Jurgen, my family, my girlfriend and the people close to me, and I finally feel ready to make the commitment [to the United States].”
Following his initial appearance against Argentina in March 2011, Chandler has been one of the most highly hyped youngsters in the setup.
The now 22-year-old defender had starred with FC Nürnberg since early 2011. Those strong performances earned him that call-up against Argentina, along with an additional appearance against Paraguay.
After Bob Bradley's departure, current national team manager Jürgen Klinsmann called Chandler up to participate in six matches at the end of 2011.
Yet the German-born defender made no appearances for the Yanks in 2012, which caused speculation over his future.
The decision by Chandler to stick with the nation that in which his father was born will help resolve a shaky defensive situation.
Outside of another German-born defender, Fabian Johnson, there are no other defenders who are guarantees to participate for the national team should they qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
Now with Chandler, the national team will have a strong replacement for the aging Steve Cherundolo on the right wing.
Chandler's commitment to the national team establishes that a significant portion of the current national team will be foreign born. Chandler and Johnson will join other German-born players representing the stars and stripes like Danny Williams, Jermaine Jones and Terrance Boyd.
There is also a good reason to believe that Chandler's remarks are genuine.
Chandler clearly has a special relationship with Klinsmann, which will ensure that Chandler will be tied to the Yanks.
Under many cases where there is a player who is "holding out" from the national team setup, they will not get called up. That relationship that exists between the two individuals shows that Klinsmann has convinced Chandler to stick with the United States.
Even after earning just one call up from Klinsmann in the past year (against Italy this past February), both Germans were able to ensure Chandler's spot in the starting XI for the Yanks.
Considering how Chandler answered some of the questions with US Soccer, that connection between him and Klinsmann indicates that he could be a full-time starter sooner rather than later.
When Chandler takes to the pitch on Wednesday night in Krasnodar, Russia, it will signify the start of a new era for the Nürnberg defender and for the American national team.
Assuming that the defender does not jump ship again (which is unlikely), this decision will be an important key that ensures a spot in Brazil less than two years from now.
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