CONCACAF Championship - United States v Mexico

U.S. national team legend Steve Cherundolo retires


The news many U.S. national team fans have been dreading for quite some time seems to be here, Steve Cherundolo’s brave battle against injury has put an end to his career.

On Wednesday reports in Germany stated that a press conference with Hannover 96’s Cherundolo, a the three-time World Cup veteran with the USMNT, expected to announce his retirement. Cherundolo did just that.

Cherundolo, 35, was a mainstay in defense for the U.S. in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cup’s and has been club-captain at Hannover after a glittering 15-year career in Germany.

However persistent knee problems, which has seen him miss most of the 2013-14 campaign, has scuppered any chance Cherundolo had of making a late surge to Jurgen Klinsmann’s 2014 World Cup squad. The right back’s contract is set to expire at the end of this season and Cherundolo will now stay on as a coach with the Bundesliga sides U23 team.

In all Cherundolo has made 87 appearances for the U.S. national team since making his debut vs. Jamaica back in 1999, and the long-time right back for the Stars & Stripes is a lock to be added to the U.S. soccer Hall of Fame in the coming years.

The University of Portland product has spent his entire professional career overseas in Germany and Poland, and many will wait on anxiously to see what Cherundolo’s next move is.

A true legend of U.S. soccer is hanging up his cleats, but what a fantastic career he has to look back on for club and country.

Hilarious “Friends” spoof video ‘starring’ Messi, Ronaldo (video)

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Given the rivalry surrounding the two megawatt superstars plying their trade in Spain, you may be surprised to learn that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the best of friends.

[ MORE: Top USMNT-Mexico rivalry moments ]

At least that’s what this spoof video conveys, as the Real Madrid and Barcelona stars help each other navigate tax season and toilet troubles.

Brilliant stuff, from FootbOle:

Top USMNT-Mexico moments: Looking back ahead of Saturday

PASADENA, CA - JUNE 25:  Landon Donovan #10 of United States celebrates his goal with teammates Carlos Bocanegra #3 and Alejandro Bedoya #22  against Mexico during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship at the Rose Bowl on June 25, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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You could argue its the biggest match between the U.S. and Mexico outside of the 2002 World Cup’s Round of 16, and there would be few arguments against you.

The United States and Mexico will tangle on Saturday at the Rose Bowl, with the winner advancing to the 2017 Confederations Cup finals in Russia.

It’s only so often that these rivals match up in a “do or die” match. Sure World Cup qualifiers carry critical import, but they don’t always become the decisive moment in the qualifying cycle.

[ MORE: Spurs’ teen shining at center back for U.S. U-23s ]

Aside from the aforementioned World Cup match and the first match in the rivalry — see 1934 below — no other match has carried as much international weight as Saturday.

So with anticipation high, let’s dance backward in time to the Yanks’ best moments in the rivalry. And let’s also imagine what would have to happen to put Saturday in the mix.

(Of course, our apologies to Mexican fans. We aren’t including the times you slapped American soccer in the face).

2001, 2005, 2009, 2013 — “Dos a Cero” to the fourth power

There is no more celebrated score line in USMNT history than the 2-0 hurting it put on Mexico in four successive home World Cup qualifiers.

2002 — World Cup Round of 16

Goals from Brian McBride and Landon Donovan prodded an upset of the world’s then-No. 7 ranked nation, as the USMNT carried a feel of destiny through its best World Cup.

1934 — World Cup qualifier

Aldo Donnelli scored all four goals as the States won the first recorded match against Mexico, and it was a big one. The winner would go on to the 1934 tournament in Italy, while the loser would go on a tour of European friendlies. The States won, and wouldn’t win again until the qualifiers for the 1982 tournament.

2012 — First win at Azteca

It may’ve been a friendly, but Michael Orozco’s finish will go down as the Yanks’ first ever winner in the fortress of Mexico City.

1980 — World Cup qualifier

Though it meant little to the Yanks’ fate in the 1982 tournament — the U.S. finished last in a group with Mexico and Canada — it was the first win over El Tri in 46 years.