When New Jersey born and raised (’til he was 14) Giuseppe Rossi turned down a spot on the US team so he could play for Italy (where his parents were born and he moved to when he was 14) he was labeled a traitor. It was stupid and illogical, Rossi clearly was never going to play for America. He turned Bruce Arena down for a World Cup spot in 2006 and had played for the Azzurri at every youth level. Poetically it was against the US in the Confederations Cup that he made his competitive international debut, permanently tying him to Italy. To the dismay of every American fan, he scored two goals and put the US into a corner in the tournament. But hating Rossi for his decision was a waste of time, he was always aiming to play for Italy.
Also apparently a waste of time has been Timothy Chandler’s appearance in a USMNT kit. As the son of a German mother and American serviceman father Chandler holds dual citizenship. Dual citizen players opting for the lesser of two countries isn’t anything new or foreign to the US, Benny Feilhaber (Brazil), Jose Torres (Mexico), Juan Agudelo (Colombia), Teal Bunbury (Canada), Terrance Boyd, Alfredo Morales, Daniel Williams, Fabian Johnson and Jermaine Jones (Germany) are all dual citizens. We sure planted a lot of seeds in Germany. But when they committed, they committed. Last year Chandler backed out of the Gold Cup under Bob Bradley, stating that his club, Nuremberg, would not allow him to go. It seemed strange at the time and fueled speculation that Chandler was considering switching to Germany. Chandler returned to the fold for friendlies under Jurgen Klinsmann, firmly establishing himself as the starter at left back. Chandler’s future was bright with the USMNT. Was bright.
Then today, it was announced that Chandler had asked off of the US World Cup Qualifying roster. What was speculation is now pretty clear: Chandler wants a spot on Germany’s roster and he’s used the US as a stepping stone.
On one hand, it’s hard to get upset at Chandler. He’s always been a German, his American father left he and his mother when Chandler was a baby. English is a foreign language to him, he didn’t come to America until he played for the US. American patriotism isn’t in him, playing for Germany has been a dream of his for a long time.
On the other hand though, gee Tim, thanks for everything. It was really great having you nail down a left back, a position that has been a problem for years only to watch you duck out. It was awesome the way you blocked opportunities for other players to establish themselves at that spot then twice gave us the run around. USMNT fans were excited for your future on the team. And thanks for this:
“It is my goal and dream to represent the United States at the 2014 World Cup,” he said. “What I said in March is true. I will absolutely not play for Germany. There is no way that will happen.”
I guess not. Now there’s your real traitor.
Good luck making the German team Timmy. You’ll need it.