- Chandler fit again after an injury-plagued season.
- The 26-year-old helped Frankfurt avoid relegation via the play-offs.
- Right-back set to play for USA at Copa America Centenario.
After helping Eintracht Frankfurt avoid relegation, American right-back Timothy Chandler can now turn his attentions to the Copa America Centenario, where Jürgen Klinsmann's USMNT are hoping to to claim their first triumph in the competition.
A persistent knee injury restricted Chandler to 12 appearances for Die Adler this season, but he returned in time to help steer Niko Kovac's men to safety, putting in a pair of sterling performances as Eintracht edged 1. FC Nürnberg 2-1 over two legs in the promotion/relegation play-off games.
Chandler hobbled off 69 minutes into the latter of those to be replaced by Aleksandar Ignjovski, but any doubts that he would be fit for the Copa were assuaged when he texted USMNT assistant manager Andreas Herzog on Monday saying that he would report to the Americans' training camp in Texas as planned.
"I can’t celebrate (staying up) that much as I have to go to the national team," he laughed after Frankfurt’s late, great escape. And that upbeat attitude helped the defender through a rollercoaster-ride of a season.
After struggling for form and being beset by injury under Armin Veh at the start of the campaign, the right-back quickly became an important part of Niko Kovac’s plans when the new coach took over from Veh in March.
Frankfurt had looked dead and buried at the time but Chandler’s return to the starting line-up coincided with the team embarking on an impressive run of form under the former Croatian national team coach.
Chandler was back to his combative best as Eintracht battled their way back to the brink of safety.
"It was an unbelievable fight for us and the points are so so so important," he said after a 1-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund on the penultimate match day of the season. „"The team defended incredibly, I don't know how to describe this game."
Had they avoided a final-day defeat in Bremen, Frankfurt would survived outright. As it was, Chandler’s season was prolonged by a week to take in the play-off, meaning he set off late to the States. However, the euphoria he will now take to the Copa after helping his team survive could prove highly beneficial to Klinsmann and the US team.