The relationship between USMNT fans and Timmy Chandler is a rocky one. They have seen the fullback perform quite well in the Bundesliga over the past few years, but have been disappointed time and time again with his national team play. Despite how the supporters may feel about him, Jurgen Klinsmann isn't giving up hope that the 26-year-old can play a role for the United States in this summer's Copa America.
After a tumultuous club season with Eintracht Frankfurt that's seen him benched early on in the season and having to deal with multiple nagging injuries, Chandler finally returned to the lineup in mid-March and has seized the opportunity. He's played 90 minutes the last two league matches, a 1-0 cleansheet victory against Hannover and a narrow 1-0 defeat to reigning champions Bayern Munich. Klinsmann has taken notice of Chandler's first action in nearly three months.
"Timmy Chandler is back in the lineup for Eintracht Frankfurt and we get another chance to see how he's doing over the next couple of weeks," Klinsmann told ussoccer.com. "With Timmy, it's important to see that he really picks it up and to plays strongly in the Bundesliga in order to have a shot at Copa America."
-Jurgen Klinsmann; Source: ussoccer.com
Chandler hasn't played for the USA in nearly a year with his last cap coming in the loss to Panama in the third-place match at the 2015 Gold Cup. Even with his two recent starts for Eintracht, he's only appeared in eight Bundesliga matches this season.
The USMNT's right back pool is extremely thin with DeAndre Yedlin seemingly the only natural fit playing regularly for his club. Fabian Johnson is also a candidate, but this season has seen him play primarily as an attacking midfielder/winger. Geoff Cameron can play the position, but proved in the last set of World Cup qualifiers that center back agrees with him more. Other than Yedlin, it's very much a patchwork job to try and fill in the right back spot. If Chandler can stay healthy for the rest of the season and his performances don't slip off, don't be surprised to see him sneak his way onto that Copa America Centenario roster this summer.