U.S. Soccer

Steve Cherundolo by the Numbers

Here is a look at some of the noteworthy numbers by U.S. Men's National Team defender Steve Cherundolo, who announced his retirement on Wednesday.


Three-time FIFA World Cup veteran Steve Cherundolo announced his retirement on Wednesday, ending a stellar playing career for both the U.S. Men’s National Team and his longtime professional club Hannover 96 in the German Bundesliga.

Cherundolo was the team captain and spent his entire professional career at Hannover. For the USA, he is on the top-20 list all-time in career appearances (87) and assists (10).

Here is a look at some of Cherundolo’s noteworthy numbers on the international and professional fronts:

  • 2: Career goals with the Men’s National Team – March 22, 2006, against Germany (4-1 loss) and Nov. 17, 2007, against South Africa (1-0 win in the Nelson Mandela Challenge)
  • 3: Career FIFA World Cup rosters (2002, 2006, 2010); one of only three MNT defenders to be rostered for three World Cups, the others being National Soccer Hall of Famers Marcelo Balboa and Eddie Pope
  • 7: Consecutive years Cherundolo recorded at least one assist for the MNT from 2004 to 2010
  • 10: Career assists, which tied him for 12th all-time with Chris Henderson, Brian McBride and Earnie Stewart
  • 13: Years spent on the U.S. MNT from 1999-2012
  • 75: Yards on Cherundolo’s first MNT goal on March 22, 2006, against Germany; his long-distance pass bounced into the net after U.S. forward Eddie Johnson and Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn collided into each other
  • 87: Career MNT caps, ranking 19th on the all-time list
  • 302: Club-record appearances at Hannover 96
  • 390: Minutes logged during the 2010 FIFA World Cup as Cherundolo played in every minute of all four matches, including the 120-minute Round of 16 loss against Ghana
  • 45-27-15: U.S. MNT’s record when Cherundolo played in a match (.603 winning percentage)

Soccer 101: The History of USA vs. Mexico

Despite being North American neighbors, the first meeting between the United States and Mexico actually took place on the other side of the Atlantic. Played on May 24, 1934 in Rome, the game was a one-off match – essentially the USA’s first World Cup qualifier – for the right to play in the second FIFA World Cup, which was set to kick off days later in venues across Italy.

Playing in front of 10,000 spectators, including Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the Americans rode a four-goal performance from Aldo “Buff” Donelli to defeat Mexico 4-2 and earn a place in the 16-team field at the 1934 FIFA World Cup.

 

You would hope the 11 players that came away victorious that day cherished the memory in Rome, because as big as the result was, it would take another 46 years before the USA would defeat Mexico again.


Though 17 of those 24 matches were played on Mexican soil, that winless streak against our neighbors to the south is by far the longest against any one opponent in team history, both in terms of number of games and years,. It fortunately ended on Nov. 23, 1980, when the U.S. used a pair of goals from Steve Moyers to defeat Mexico 2-1 in another Qualifying match, this time for the 1982 FIFA World Cup.

 

With Mexico already booking its ticket to the next round of Qualifying and the USA already eliminated, from a competitive standpoint, the match was meaningless. However, whether or not they realized it, the 2,126 fans in attendance at Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium witnessed history that night, and to this day are among the few Americans that saw the USA’s 43-year winless streak against Mexico come to an end.

Though the USA and Mexico met only once more during the decade, the dam had been cracked. With 1990 marking the MNT’s first appearance in the World Cup in 40 years, the 1980s also served as a transitional phase in the rivalry with Mexico as a new generation of American players began to reap the benefits of greater emphasis on the game here at home to lay the foundation for future triumphs.

The first in a series of successes came during the semifinals of the 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Led by former Mexico head coach Bora Milutinovic, the USA used second-half strikes from John Doyle and Peter Vermes to stun El Tri 2-0 in front of a pro-Mexico crowd of 41,103 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and went on to win the tournament’s inaugural title.

WATCH: USA Defeats Mexico 2-0 in 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinal

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MNT May 24, 2017
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