Chandler's performance creaky, but remains viable; Americans Abroad
The knee-jerk reaction following Timmy Chandler's showing in Honduras would be that he is not necessarily the answer at right back for the U.S. men's national team.
Even though Chandler's sub-par showing was one of many discouraging aspects of that match, facts are facts. Chandler has dynamic qualities, but he looked like a player who had played 90 minutes and completed a transatlantic flight three days earlier and just never had his game legs under him in the San Pedro Sula humidity. While it may be easy to dismiss Chandler's viability as a starting fullback after his showing, he'll probably have another couple of chances to prove his worth.
U.S. veteran and Hannover 96 captain Steve Cherundolo underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last Wednesday during the Americans loss to Honduras. While that injury typically requires a 4-to-6 week recovery period, it is unclear how long Cherundolo will have to be out. Considering he has not played a match for Hannover since Dec. 19, it seems unlikely that the almost-34-year-old Cherundolo would be World Cup qualifying fit by the time the USA's next matches -- March 22 against Costa Rica and March 26 in Mexico -- roll around.
Should Chandler, who returned to action for Nurnberg this past week and was part of a clean-sheet effort, not be able to lift his game in his next opportunity, Jurgen Klinsmann could always turn to veteran Michael Parkhurst. The former New England Revolution and FC Nordsjaelland man in the Bundesliga for new club Augsburg off the bench this past Sunday and will be eyeing a more regular place in the lineup to improve his chances of an international recall.
Another glaring area of need for the U.S. against Honduras was on the wing, and three-time World Cup veteran DaMarcus Beasley showed that he still has something left in his 30-year-old tank on Saturday. With the U.S. laboring through the second half and in need of fresh attacking ideas and legs, is it so far fetched to think that someone like Beasley could have provided a spark off the bench? His two-goal performance as a substitute over the weekend was a vintage, throwback showing to his peak days and secured three valuable points for Puebla as it maintains a top-eight place as the Liga MX Clausura campaign nears the halfway point.
As for some major scores off of the field, Sacha Kljestan and Mix Diskerud were able to cash in, with each getting new contracts this past week. Kljestan re-upped at Anderlecht through the 2015-16 season, while Diskerud will return to Norwegian power Rosenborg on a two-year deal after having his short-term deal end this past winter.
Those were the highlights for Americans playing abroad as clubs resumed play following the mid-week international break, but here is how all of the Americans playing their trade in major leagues across the globe fared this past week (season statistics encompass all competitions):
SEASON: 31 games, 24 starts, 8 goals
SEASON: 19 games, 19 starts (7 games, 7 starts with Rangers)
Maurice Edu, M, Bursaspor - Started, played 90 minutes in Bursaspor's 3-0 victory over Karabukspor on Saturday.