A name that stands out on the U.S. Men’s National Team roster for the upcoming friendly against Russia is Timmy Chandler. The Nuremberg-based defender has had an on-again, off-again relationship with the USA since earning his first cap March 16, 2011, against Argentina and has been open about the uncertainty of his desire to play international football. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has expressed an open door policy for Chandler and has been willing to give the defender space to make his own choice. According to Chandler, his soul searching has led to a decision.
ussoccer.com: The first question on many people’s minds will be: Why now?
Timmy Chandler: “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.”
ussoccer.com: What were some of the issues you felt were holding you back from being fully committed?
TC: “I was a young player trying to get settled into my club team and wasn’t sure about the long travel and everything that goes into being a part of this National Team. My coaches didn’t like the idea, so I think even I felt some pressure. I’ve had a chance to get settled in with the club and also have grown up a lot. I know what I want to do.”
ussoccer.com: What are your emotions now being back in with the team?
TC: “I’m excited to be back as a part of the group. This is a great group of guys. I hope they accept me back into the team. I’m very happy to be here.”
ussoccer.com: Given what has transpired in the last two years, there may be some people who are skeptical of your commitment to the U.S. team at this point?
TC: “I understand that a lot of people in the USA may be unsure because they think I have said [I’m committed] in the past. All I can say is that I am clear in my head about the commitment moving forward. This was about me being ready to accept the responsibility of being a part of the National Team and everything that goes with it, and now I am ready. I hope I will get chances in the future. I am in 1,000 percent.”
ussoccer.com: Have you been following the U.S. team?
TC: “I’ve watched a lot of the games and followed also on the internet. They have done a great job in the qualification so far. You can see that the games aren’t easy.”
ussoccer.com: There are several other German-Americans playing in the Bundesliga. Have you been staying in contact?
TC: “I have been in contact with Jermaine Jones and Danny Williams and they have told me about what’s been going on in these games. We talked about my situation as well, but the most important thing has been the team.”
ussoccer.com: What was the most important factor in the decision process on your end to take this opportunity again?
TC: “I thought about all the times I had been with the team and they were really good experiences for me. I spoke a lot with Jurgen and I could see he wanted me to be a part of the team. That was very important. I am excited about the chance to represent the United States.”