US World Cup roster has
SAO PAULO (AP) — Timmy Chandler says the melting pot of the U.S. soccer team speaks the same language.
“We understand everything good: English, German, Mexican, Chinese,” the defender explained. But, ja, German is a plus on this year’s American World Cup team. Chandler is among five German-Americans on the 23-man roster, the sons of American servicemen and German mothers. A sixth was among the final cuts, and another three members of the player pool weren’t even invited to the 30-man training camp last month in California.
All speak decent English, some more accented than others. Thomas Dooley said that puts them far ahead of where he was when he joined the U.S. team in 1992, 5 1/2 weeks after picking up his U.S. passport. The tall defender started all four American games at the 1994 World Cup and was captain in 1998.
“I had no connection to the U.S. at all, and that’s what made it the most difficult part for me, to communicate with the group,” said Dooley, who retired to Laguna Niguel, California, and is now coach of the national team of the Philippines.
Right back Fabian Johnson and midfielder Jermaine Jones, barring injuries, are sure to start against Ghana in the Americans’ World Cup opener Monday. Chandler is competing with DaMarcus Beasley for the left back spot, while John Brooks is a backup central defender, and 19-year-old Julian Green a reserve winger.
All are looking forward to the Americans’ first-round finale on June 26 against — of course — Germany.
During the U.S. portion of the training camp, none of the German-Americans roomed together. An effort was made to avoid cliques.
In Brazil, it’s not an issue. For the first time in the U.S. program, all players get single rooms.
“We talk German sometimes, but we have respect for the guys who don’t talk German,” Jones said. “So if we see that somebody is there with us that doesn’t understand the German language, then we talk 100 percent English.”