How U.S. can solve defensive issues 

January, 30, 2013

The most interesting thing to happen Tuesday during the U.S. national soccer team's forgettable 0-0 draw with Canada didn't occur on the field. It was the news, announced on ESPN's telecast, that starting right back Steve Cherundolo would not accompany the Yanks to Honduras next week for their first World Cup qualifier of 2013 due to the knee he injured while training with German team Hannover.

That the U.S. will miss Cherundolo's experience in San Pedro Sula is a given -- the 35-year-old would have been the lone player on the roster participating in his fourth qualifying cycle. Fortunately, the Yanks have a ready replacement in Timmy Chandler, who reportedly accepted a call-up for the trip to Central America. It's the first time the 22-year-old Chandler has agreed to appear in a meaningful match. As soon as he steps on the field in Honduras, it will cap-tie him to the U.S. program for good, ending speculation that the dual-national could opt instead for his native Germany.

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.