Cherundolo with Hannover in 2011
|Full name||Steven Emil Cherundolo|
|Date of birth||February 19, 1979|
|Place of birth||Rockford, Illinois, United States|
|Height||1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)|
|Playing position||Right back|
|Hannover 96 (Assistant Manager)|
|1997||United States U18||4||(0)|
|1998–1999||United States U20||25||(0)|
|1998||United States U23||1||(0)|
|2014–2015||Hannover 96 Amateure (Assistant Manager)|
|2015–||Hannover 96 (Assistant Manager)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Steven Emil "Steve" Cherundolo (born February 19, 1979 in Rockford, Illinois) is an American former soccer defender and current assistant manager of Hannover 96. He was the captain of Hannover 96 of the German Bundesliga, where he spent his entire club career. He played for the United States men's national soccer team at the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups.
Cherundolo grew up in San Diego, California and attended Mt. Carmel High School in Rancho Peñasquitos. As a youth he played for the La Jolla Nomads club team which won the California State Championship six times with him on the roster.
Before joining Hannover, Cherundolo enrolled at the University of Portland and played for the Pilots soccer team from 1997 to 1998. In his freshman season, he was named the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year.
Cherundolo joined Hannover 96, then playing in the 2. Bundesliga, for the end of the 1998–1999 season, and quickly received first-team action, playing in four games his first year. Coming into the 1999–2000 season, Cherundolo established himself at the right back position, starting consistently before suffering a knee injury that kept him out of the end of the season, and ended his chances of playing for the U.S. Olympic team. Cherundolo continued to establish his place in the team during the 2000–2001 season, earning playing time in eighteen games, including ten starts. In the 2001–02 season, he started thirty of thirty-four games for the team, as he helped the team gain promotion to the Bundesliga. Cherundolo maintained his position in the 2002–03 season, starting thirty-three games for the team, while collecting three assists. In the 2003–04 season, Cherundolo continued his consistent play, appearing in thirty-three games for the club. Premier League side Bolton Wanderers agreed to a deal with Hannover for Cherundolo in 2005, but he declined, opting to remain in Germany. He signed another contract extension with Hannover in the summer of 2007.
Cherundolo has established himself as a leader at Hannover, and was appointed team captain shortly before the start of the 2010–11 season. Cherundolo set the team record for Bundesliga appearances in the second to last game of the 2012–13 season. As of 2013, Cherundolo was the longest serving player in the Bundesliga. On March 19, 2014 Cherundolo announced his retirement from football citing failure to recover from a long term knee injury as the main reason he left the game. He will continue on as the assistant coach to Hannover's amateur team.
On April 20, 2015, Cherundolo was officially promoted to assistant coach of Hannover 96's first team. After the end of the 2014/2015 season, Cherundolo returned to Hannover's amateur team as assistant coach.
Cherundolo parlayed his success in the Bundesliga into a role with the United States national team. Cherundolo made his debut against Jamaica on September 8, 1999. Although he was on the roster for the 2002 FIFA World Cup (a late injury replacement for Chris Armas), Cherundolo himself was injured in training shortly before the event began and was unable to play. In the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Cherundolo sustained a knee injury from a tackle that prematurely ended his participation in the tournament. On March 22, 2006, Cherundolo played in a friendly match with the national team against Germany, including some teammates from Hannover 96. He scored his first international goal in the 4–1 loss.
On May 2, 2006, Cherundolo was named to the U.S. roster for the FIFA World Cup in Germany. On 12 June 2006, for the first time, aged 26, Cherundolo made his debut in a FIFA World Cup match against Czech Republic, playing in the first half for the US, who started the tournament with a 3–0 loss. Five days later, in the second match against Italy (who later won the tournament), Cherundolo played the full 90 minutes, helping the team to stop Italy with a 1–1 draw at Fritz-Walter-Stadion in Kaiserslautern. Afer a loss against Ghana in the final match in the group, the USA was eliminated from the tournament, finishing the group in last place with just one point.
He missed the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup due to an injury. He also missed out on the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup due to another injury; but returned to captain the U.S. during the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Cherundolo was one of seven defenders named to the USA squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. He was given the number 6. In the first match of the Group C against England, Cherundolo was in the starting lineup, helping them to get a 1–1 draw at Royal Bafokeng Stadium. On 18 June, he retained his position for the second match, playing in the entire game against Slovenia, finished in a 2–2 draw, with USA who come back from a 2–0 down. In the 48th minute of the match, Cherundolo assisted Donovan who beat Slovenian goalkeeper Handanović with a powerful shot. In the final match of the group, he played at right as the USA beat Algeria with a last-minute winner, scored by Donovan, to finish the group in first place with five points.
|01.||March 22, 2006||Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany||Germany||
|02.||November 17, 2007||Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg, South Africa||South Africa||
Cherundolo speaks English and fluent German, having spent his entire professional career in the Bundesliga. A popular figure with Hannover fans, he is known as "Dolo" and affectionately nicknamed "Mayor of Hannover".
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|1998–99||Hannover 96||2. Bundesliga||8||0||0||0||0||0||–||8||0|
Statistics accurate as of 17 December 2014.
- Hannover 96
- United States
- Hannover 96
- All time cap leader: 300 appearances
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- 2. Bundesliga 2001/2002 (German) Weltfussball.de – League table 2001-02, accessed: 16 August 2012
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