Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Cherundolo, the Mayor of Hannover, steps down
by Paul Kennedy, March 19th, 2014 3:19PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  americans abroad, germany, men's national team

MOST COMMENTED

[USA MEN]Steve Cherundolo, the longest-serving member of the U.S. national team and American player abroad, is retiring as a player at the age of 35 because of knee problems. He will remain at German club Hannover 96, which he joined in 1999 out of college and captained in recent years, as an assistant coach with its under-23 team.

Cherundolo was the longest-serving member of the U.S. national team and American player abroad, but three knee surgeries kept him out of the national team for all of 2013 and limited him to seven Bundesliga appearances for Hannover in 2013. His last club game was on Dec. 21.

Cherundolo, who earned his first cap in 1999, was looking to go to his fourth World Cup with the USA. He was injured and did not play in 2002 but started started all three games in 2006 and played every minute of four games in 2010. He played five of six games in the semifinal round of World Cup 2014 qualifying, most notably having an excellent match in the 1-0 win over Jamaica after missing the first game of the home-and-home series, the only game the USA lost, four days earlier.

Cherundolo is a product of the Nomads program in San Diego and was a sweeper in his younger days. He left the University of Portland after his sophomore season to sign with Hannover 96. Its general manager at the time, Hans Gerber, had spotted him playing for the U.S. U-20s on tour in Germany. Cherundolo had already trained with the senior national team as a teenager before the 1998 World Cup and he captained the USA at the 1999 Under-20 World Cup. A knee injury shortly after qualifying cost him a spot on the 2000 Olympic team coached by his UP coach, the late Clive Charles.

He broke into the national team as a starter for Bruce Arena in the 2001 Hexagonal. He he's only 5-foot-6, but his lack of height didn't prevent him from frustrating attackers. The USA won its first three games in the 2001 Hexagonal with Cherundolo at right back. In the 1-0 win over Costa Rica, he so frustrated Hernan Medford that at one point the Tico star whacked a ball into the stands rather than having to take on the young American again.

Cherundolo did not score many goals -- just two with Hannover 96 (one in the first division and the other in the second division) and just two with the U.S. national team (the first a 75-yard strike from distance past Oliver Kahn against Germany) -- but his ability to attack out of the back and link up with players in front of him remains very rare for the American outside back.

No American has excelled at right back for longer than Cherundolo, who was voted on the all-time U.S. Best XI last year. And his absence was immediately felt as Jurgen Klinsmann started five different players at right back in the Hexagonal and seven different players at the position in 2013. It is one of the positions at which there remains uncertainty with just three months to go before the World Cup finals.

U.S. Right Backs, Hexagonal:
Chandler (at Honduras)
Cameron (Costa Rica)
Cameron (at Mexico)
Evans (at Jamaica)
Evans (Panama)
Evans (Honduras)
Orozco (at Costa Rica)
F.Johnson (Mexico)
Evans (Jamaica)
Evans (at Panama)

Cherundolo retires as Hannover 96's career leader with 302 Bundesliga appearances. When he signed, Hannover 96 was in the second division, where played 68 games. He quickly learned German after he arrived, which greatly eased his move. He immediately became a fan favorite, earning the nickname "Mayor of Hannover." He was also a team leader, serving as captain after being on the club's player council.

“I have got to know Steven Cherundolo over the past 15 years at Hannover 96 as a model professional and a responsible person with a strong character," said Hannover 96 president Martin Kind at a press conference on Wednesday. "He has had unparalleled success in his career at 96 and is extraordinarily faithful to his club. We secured promotion to the Bundesliga with him, established ourselves as a top-flight club and he captained us in two Europa League campaigns."





3 comments
  1. Eric Schmitt
    commented on: March 19, 2014 at 6:25 p.m.
    I wish him good luck and all the best in his coaching and future endeavors. Without question one of the best to ever represent the Stars and Stripes.
  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: March 19, 2014 at 6:35 p.m.
    Congratulations on a wonderful career. He is missed.
  1. Peter Moser
    commented on: March 19, 2014 at 7:47 p.m.
    A class act all the way. It's unfortunate that his playing time is over, I wish Steven all the best in the future. Knowing Hannover very well, I'm not surprised he is staying in that beautiful town.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Klinsmann: 'We have a lot of attacking options'    
Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes, the USA's top two contributors in 2016 with seven goals and ...
USL Rewind: Kickers, FC Cincinnati claim playoff spots    
Two more Eastern Conference teams nailed down postseason berths last weekend. A 1-0 defeat of Orlando ...
MLS Power Rankings: Eastern leaders swap spots    
The FIFA break follows a crazy-busy week in MLS, with 16 league matches - including several ...
MLS: Quakes fire GM John Doyle, San Jose original    
John Doyle, San Jose Earthquakes general manager since the club returned to MLS in 2008, has ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klopp    
"I know nearly all the clubs, but I had no idea where they are. So if ...
NASL Rewind: Cosmos make a statement    
Defending champion New York Cosmos returned to first place with a 6-1 win over the Carolina ...
USMNT: Kljestan in, Brooks out    
Sacha Kljestan, who has not played for the USA since before the 2014 World Cup, was ...
What They're Saying: Mike Morris    
"That isn't the way we look at it, anyway. If any of that happens, great. But ...
Video Pick: D.C. United carves up Chicago D    
The eight nominees for Week 25 MLS Goal of the Week include one of D.C. United's ...
What They're Saying: Jason Kreis    
"The importance of the win has nothing to do with the opponent,. It wasn't about me, ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives