Jurgen Klinsmann had a few things to say on U.S. Soccer this morning. Some of it good – and some of it quite concerning.
The good is on Clint Dempsey’s groin injury.
“Clint has a minor groin injury which should be fine within the next couple of days. We’re going to take it a bit easy in the beginning, and from there we don’t expect any problems,” Klinsmann said.
The not so good is about promising defender Timmy Chandler, who isn’t coming into camp.
(Update: More PST perspective on the Chandler affair is here.)
I think it’s time for all U.S. Socccer fans to say this about the promising outside back. And say it out loud so it sinks in. “He’s just not that into us.”
I have had long conversations with Timmy about where he is in his professional career and his commitment to playing international football. He has expressed his appreciation for all the opportunities we have given him, but he also feels at this point he needs to take a break. It’s disappointing not having him as a part of the team at this important juncture of building our team, but ultimately a player must decide what is best for him. The door is certainly not closed on Timmy, but in the moment we move on without him.”
I spoke to U.S. Soccer spokesman Michael Kammarman, who referred all questions to Klinsmann.
In the past, Chandler’s words and actions have always indicated he was “all in” for the U.S. cause, never mind the dual citizenship and the fact that he grew up in Germany.
But recall that last summer he kept his distance from the U.S. camp. And more importantly, recall that he has yet to play in an official FIFA tournament. That means he’s still eligible to appear for Germany. And at 22 years old, it’s quite likely that he’s still holding out hope of appearing for his native country.
If he comes to this camp and appears in one of the upcoming qualifiers, he’s tied to the United States.
U.S. Soccer may or may not continue to believe that Chandler is in the personnel mix. But if I’m wagering, I’m saying his future in the U.S. shirt stands highly in doubt.
It’s hard to see this odd situation any other way (a player who prefers not to play internationally); it looks for all the world like he’s holding out for Germany.