Steve Cherundolo remains upbeat about his World Cup chances, but the Hannover right-back says he is still a little sceptical about making it into the United States squad for Brazil.
Cherundolo, 34, finally returned to the Bundesliga on Sunday, accompanied by a thunderous applause as he was brought on as an injury-time substitute in his side’s 2-0 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt.
“I would like to say thank you,” Cherundolo told Bild. “Thank you to the medical staff for the great work, thank you to the coaching staff for their patience, thank you to my family for psyching me up time and time again and thank you to the fans, who have given me a fantastic welcome on Sunday.”
Cherundolo’s season could be crowned with a call-up to the U.S. World Cup squad, however, he is wary that he needs more game time to achieve his goal.
“Naturally, some scepticism to not be called up is there. I have only played three minutes this season. Health and fitness are most important, I need match practice now,” he said. “I have last been in touch with [U.S. coach] Jurgen [Klinsmann] in mid-November. He knows what I am capable of.”
Cherundolo was also asked if his dream scenario for the World Cup draw would see the U.S. and Germany being paired in the same group.
“If we both make it out of the group, OK,” he said. “My dream group is one which gives us a good chance to finish in one of the first two spots.”