Timmy Chandler Turns Down USA Camp Invite
CHICAGO — Defender Timmy Chandler has declined an invitation to attend the United States’ training camp ahead of its opening qualifiers next month for the 2014 World Cup.
The 22-year-old, a regular starter for Nuremberg in the Bundesliga, made his U.S. national team debut in March 2011 and has eight international appearances.
He holds American and German passports and because he has not yet played in a competitive national match, he still could switch to Germany’s national team.
“I have had long conversations with Timmy about where he is in his professional career and his commitment to playing international football,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said Tuesday. “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.”
Klinsmann announced an initial group of 16 players, mostly from European clubs, that started reporting Tuesday to Kissimmee, Fla. He will make 13 additions Sunday following the weekend games in Major League Soccer, then cut the roster to 23 on May 25.
Tijuana midfielder Joe Corona was the only player picked with no national team experience. He scored four goals for the American under-23 team as it was eliminated in Olympic qualifying.
Klinsmann said forward Clint Dempsey “should be fine within the next couple of days” following a groin strain that caused him to miss Fulham’s Premier League season finale Sunday.
The U.S. has exhibitions against Scotland (May 26 at Jacksonville, Fla.), Brazil (May 30 at Landover, Md.) and Canada (June 3) at Toronto.
The Americans open qualifying on June 8 against Antigua and Barbuda at Tampa, Fla., then play at Guatemala on June 12.
The top two teams in the group, which also includes Jamaica, advance to next year’s six-nation final round in North and Central America and the Caribbean. The top three teams in the finals qualify for the 2014 tournament in Brazil, and the fourth-place team has a two-game playoff for a berth against the Oceania winner, likely New Zealand.
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England), Tim Howard (Everton), England, Nick Rimando (Salt Lake)
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana, Mexico), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, Germany), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin, Germany)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona, Italy), Joe Corona (Tijuana, Mexico), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim, Germany), Jermaine Jones (Schalke, Germany), Jose Torres (Pachuca, Mexico), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim, Germany)
Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Fulham, England)