In an interview with Bundesliga.com, Hannover 96 captain and USA international Steve Cherundolo claims that with a “bit of luck” the 96ers could qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League. Currently fifth in the Bundesliga standings, Hannover on Sunday recorded an impressive 1-1 draw at home to league champion Borussia Dortmund, a result that left the club within a point of a Champions League place after seven games.
For Cherundolo, who was called into Jurgen Klinsmann’s 24-man squad for the USA’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers, the draw with Dortmund marked his 287th Bundesliga appearance for Hannover. The 33-year-old San Diego native has spent his entire professional career with the club since departing the USA in 1998, including 68 appearances in the Bundesliga 2. His loyalty to Hannover stands out in an era where many professionals chase money, trophies, or both.
“I'm proud to be the captain of this team,” Cherundolo said following Sunday’s draw with Dortmund. He said Hannover needs to earn more points away from home than in it did last season in order to challenge for a Champions League place. “On top of that, of course, you need a bit of luck here and there as well,” he added.