USMNT: Tim Chandler out 8-10 weeks, Onyewu falls to injury

IMAGE, MLSSOCCER.COM

Two players fighting for a World Cup spot with the U.S. Men’s National Team have fallen to injury.

Fullback Timothy Chandler of German Bundesliga side Nurnberg had to leave the field in the 10th minute of a 2-0 loss to European powerhouse Bayern Munich. Nurnberg later revealed their fullback suffered a tear in his lateral meniscus, sidelining him for 8-10 weeks.

Meanwhile, former U.S. stalwart Oguchi Onyewu received bad news of his own, with Sheffield Wednesday boss Stuart Gray revealing he may be out “weeks” with a calf injury.

For Chandler, the injury could not come at a worse time. Out of favor with the National Team, the German-American has still managed to excel with his club side, earning Bundesliga Team of the Week honors just last month. Meanwhile, the U.S. has struggled at the right back position. Converted fullback Brad Evans suffered a difficult performance against South Korea earlier this month. With Steve Cherundolo still on the mend, options are slim with the Yanks.

“You have Timmy Chandler at Nurnberg, who for six months has been doing a very consistent, good job,” head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a recent US Soccer Q&A. “Being in February and a few months prior to the World Cup, you want to see them all play. You have to give them a clear message that only if you pick up a rhythm and play week-in, week-out, will you complete one of the big keys in order to make the World Cup roster. That’s why we are really happy some of them now are starting to get their rhythm. This all plays a vital role in evaluating them, and then we have to make the vital calls in May.”

The injury will force Chandler out of consideration for a European-heavy March friendly against Ukraine — a match considered to be the final chance to make a National Team statement. Chandler’s next opportunity could come in a yet-to-be-confirmed friendly this April, rumored to pin the U.S. against Mexico. His last start with the National Team came February of last year in a World Cup qualifying loss against Honduras.

As for Onyewu, he has managed a good start at Wednesday, registering a goal in four consecutive starts. That has also been noticed by the US coach. His club has offered no specific timetable of recovery, but it is assumed he will be out at least two weeks, keeping the big defender in contention for the March friendly in Kiev.

  • Dave from Dix Hills

    Like the USMNT and recent BPL coverage. Nice to see EOS expanding!