Cherundolo makes step up to Stuttgart assistant manager

AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File

U.S. men’s national team legend Steve Cherundolo is well on his way to landing a job as a first-team manager in Europe well before he turns 45 (maybe 40, even), after being named assistant manager at Bundesliga side Stuttgart on Tuesday.

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The 38-year-old’s move away from Hannover, where he served as interim assistant manager in 2014 before taking the reins as the club’s U-17 coach the following season, represents not only a massive step up in import, but also a massive step outside his familiar surroundings.

Having spent his entire 16-year playing career at Hannover before immediately transitioning into a coaching role with the club, it’ll be genuinely jarring to see Cherundolo in another club’s colors — from Stuttgart’s announcement:

“Steven Cherundolo was most recently coach of the Under 17 selection from Hannover 96. The 87-time US-international was a professional in Lower Saxony from 1999 until 2014, making 302 Bundesliga and 68 second-flight appearances for Hannover. The now 38-year-old is Hannover’s all-time record appearance maker in Germany’s top-flight. From 2010 until ending his active playing career in 2014, Cherundolo was H96 captain.”

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Cherundolo’s name has been mentioned when speculating about the next boss of the USMNT, but at this point of his career, it would likely be more beneficial to continue honing his skills on the daily grind of the club level. Having started out as an assistant for Hannover’s reserve and then the U-15s, he’s shown an incredible hunger to put in the work required to climb the managerial ladder.