CHICAGO (March 19, 2014) – Three-time FIFA World Cup veteran Steve Cherundolo announced his retirement from playing professional soccer today. The captain of Hannover 96 in the German Bundesliga is calling it quits after 15 years and is the only U.S.-born player to play his entire career in Europe.
- Steve Cherundolo by the Numbers
- Steve Cherundolo at Home in Hannover
- MNT in Germany: Steve Cherundolo, Part 1
- MNT in Germany: Steve Cherundolo, Part 2
- 2010 FIFA World Cup: Studio 90 Extra Time
Arguably the best ever to play at right back for the Men’s National Team, Cherundolo earned 82 caps for the United States. Turning in one of the USA’s outstanding performances in South Africa, he started the past seven World Cup matches going back to 2006. A two-time finalist for U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year, Cherundolo finished with 26 appearances in World Cup qualifying and earned a CONCACAF Gold Cup trophy in 2005.
While he had two memorable goals of his own – a 75-yard strike from distance past Oliver Kahn against Germany and the game-winner in the 2007 Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup – his most memorable point came when he sprung Landon Donovan in on goal for the finish that sparked the USA’s comeback in the 2-2 draw against Slovenia in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
In today's era of big money sponsorships, corporate rebranding and astronomical franchise fees, the tale of Lansdowne Bhoys serves as a reminder of the small town romance that helped make soccer a global force.
The Yonkers-based club formed in 1997 as a pub team within the confines of its now-shuttered namesake, Lansdowne Bar in the Bronx.
Today, it has built itself into a community club, with multiple senior team tiers and youth affiliations reaching hundreds throughout the Yonkers area.
"Lansdowne isn't just Lansdowne," head coach Austin Friel said. "We have a coaching academy as well. We have an affiliation with Yonkers United where we provide coaches for 24 Yonkers teams."
Friel, a 12-year veteran of the Irish leagues and an influential member at the club, brought a foundation of experience and respect that has helped shape the organization. At the heart of the Lansdowne operation is a deep-rooted community, where its focus has drawn the love of famed football announcer Tommy Smyth, whom infamously name-dropped the Bhoys in several high profile matches on ESPN – including last year's encounter between Ireland and England.
Several of Lansdowne's players also perform as coaches with Yonkers United. Many also take up day jobs with several construction companies owned by various members of the Lansdowne board, adding an extra layer of unity within the club.
"It's more of a family business," Friel explained. "With all the guys on my board, they all own their own construction companies or work for large construction companies in Manhattan and a lot of our guys work for these companies."
Emerald Tile and Marble is the team's main sponsor, which is owned by club Vice President, Aiden Corr. Several Lansdowne Bhoys work under Corr’s tile company, which enticed standout players to hone their skills on the pitch with the option of a respectable day job to supplement their income.
"About six to seven years ago, we sort of moved up a few divisions, getting better players from Ireland and Irish American players from the likes of Columbia College," Friel explained. "Aiden Corr has been at the club for 12 years as a player. He decided to take them to the next level. He put together a board and brought on William McGrory as President. Aiden is Vice President and he bought on people to develop the club and make it better."Read more