Back in with the U.S. MNT: Q & A with Defender Timmy Chandler
Timmy Chandler is making his second appearance in a U.S. Men’s National Team camp after first suiting up for the United States against Argentina and Paraguay earlier this year. It’s been a busy time for the young right back, as he continues to work to cement a starting spot at FC Nurnburg in the Bundesliga and gets ready to take the next step in his national team career. ussoccer.com spoke to Chandler after the first full day of MNT camp in Carson, Calif.
ussoccer.com: You're back with the U.S. team for the first time since March. How does it feel to be in with your teammates as you prepare to face Costa Rica and Belgium?
Timmy Chandler: “It feels great to be back with the U.S. team. Last time I was here it was with Bob Bradley, and now there's a new coach in Klinsmann. I was happy when he called me and said he wants me to come in. It's good to be here with the team and everybody has welcomed me. I really like being here.”
ussoccer.com: What was your thought process about not participating in the Gold Cup?
TC: “The decision was made after talking with my club and Bob Bradley. It was my first season in the Bundesliga, and it was very long and hard for me. The last few games I didn't feel my best and I had some pain in my legs, so we made the decision that not coming to the Gold Cup was better for me.”
ussoccer.com: Was there ever any doubt you wanted to keep playing for the U.S. National Team?
TC: “No. Some people were saying I wanted to play for Germany, but I've always wanted to play for the U.S. team. I'm with the ‘A’ team for the USA, and I want to keep playing. No question about it.”
ussoccer.com: There are lots of German-speaking players in with the national team this time around and of course there's also Jurgen Klinsmann. What do you think about all the German connections?
TC: It's very good. A lot of players want to learn German, and some speak German well. It's good when we have players from the Bundesliga, and I think we can help the U.S. team. While I'm here I can also practice my English, too. I’m taking lessons once a week back in Germany so I can speak more with my teammates here, and also in Nurnberg. We have a lot of players who speak only English. Studying is already making it better for me, as I understand the coach and the other players in training here.”
ussoccer.com: Did you follow the U.S. games this summer?
TC: “The games were very late in Germany but I watched what I could on YouTube. I saw the final against Mexico and the game in August too.”
ussoccer.com: How have things been going at Nurnburg in the beginning of the season?
TC: “I am playing right back and have played 90 minutes for all four games. The season has started very good for us. We have a young team but I think we can also be pretty good.”
ussoccer.com: What's it like playing for a German coach and one of the most famous German players of all time in Jurgen Klinsmann?
TC: It's good playing for a German coach. I talked with him a few times on the phone before I came here. He wants to try new things here with the U.S. National Team, and it's good to bring a little bit from German football here to the USA. When I was 6 or 7 years old, I would watch Klinsmann all the time on TV when he played at Bayern Munich and was scoring goals. Now he's my coach and I can learn a lot from him.”
ussoccer.com: Have you had a chance to speak with Fabian Johnson about playing for the U.S. team?
TC: “I didn’t know Fabian before we got to camp. We are roommates here, so we have spoken about playing for the U.S. He’s very excited. Nurnberg and Hoffenheim are local rivals, and we will be playing against each next month in the Bundesliga. It’s going to be fun.”