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The others who snubbed the USA

Timmy Chandler’s apparent decision to no longer represent the USA in international play isn't the first time a player has turned down the opportunity to play for the USA. Steve Davis at ProSoccerTalk looks back at the decisions of Giuseppe Rossi and Neven Subotic to turn down a chance to represent the USA.

Rossi was the only one of the three to spend significant time in the United State, growing up in New Jersey. He moved to Italy just before his 13th birthday to pursue his dream of playing pro soccer in Italy. He was called up to a U.S. national team camp before the 2006 World Cup but turned it down in the hope of eventually being picked by Italy. Rossi, who has played for Manchester United, Newcastle United, Parma and Villarreal, later made the Italian national team but he is now injured and has yet to fulfill his dream of playing for the Azzurri in a major championship.

Asked why the USA did not pursue Rossi, then-national team coach Bruce Arena famously replied, “We’re not chasing around 18-year-old players that can’t get games for their club team and tell me they want to play for Italy.”

Neven Subotic represented the USA at a world championship. But after playing for the USA at the 2005 Under-17 World Cup, he turned down a chance to play for the USA two years later at the under-20 level, in apparent response to remarks critical of his development by then-U.S. U-20 coach Thomas Rongen.

Subotic hoped to play for Germany, where he has played his entire pro career, but citizenship restrictions forced him to look elsewhere, and he eventually joined the Serbian national team, for which he played at the 2010 World Cup.

Read the whole story at ProSoccerTalk »

1 comment about "The others who snubbed the USA".
  1. Carlos Thys, May 17, 2012 at 3:06 p.m.

    Soccer America staff writers and fans here need to go easy on coming to conclusions about what Tim (his name is probably Tim and not "Timmy," yes?) Chandler is thinking. Clubs do not always smile on a player who has long overseas flights time and time again if, as in the case for Mr. Chandler, club and national team are not on the same continent. If you could hear real pros talk, many would tell you that they get grief (subtle and tangible) routinely for national team schedules/conflicts and the issues of coming back slightly injured, injured, sick, or unrested and fatigued. All players usually are nursing multiple injuries -- all the time. (And they don't always openly talk about them, now do they? No, they certainly don't.) Maybe the wisest thing for a player is to actually use the five weeks one has at season end to...let the body actually REST? To let the mind rest by actually spending time with relatives, with friends, with normal people in normal walks of life. At just now 22 years of age with a birthday only six weeks ago, Chandler is the equivalent of a college junior. How many college juniors know just precisely, know 100% exactly what they wish to do? And pursue same with ironclad, unwavering focus/resolve? Is that how your college aged kids are? Or how they were? Is that how you were at age 21? 22? Bear in mind that he is, for all intents and purposes, 94% German; 6% at best U.S. American. Does he have a Dad he can go to for thoughts, advice, bouncing ideas? (No, he does not. His American father dumped him.) And these are issues that all these dual citizen young fellows face. They don't have the years of living, accumulated life wisdom of those like us who are in the latter third of our lives.

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