Hannover’s „Neue Presse“ has a feature on every of the 96’ players on their website. We had the one about Conor Casey some time ago, here’s what they write on Steven Cherundolo: That was darn narrow. Almost 96 had to give up Cherundolo though the transfer was signed in the early January days in 1999. But on January 5th dad Richard died of cancer way too early at the age of 53 in San Diego. Cherundolo junior, only 19, suffered under the loss. “Basically I didn’t want to leave anymore, I just wanted to stay with my family”, says Cherundolo reminding the old days. The family are mother Ann (55), the sisters Gina (33) and Kristie (30) as well as brother Richard (“Richie”, 26). He still feels very close to them though they live many thousand miles away in California and Chicago (Gina). He shares problems and worries, success and joy with them in long phone calls. “I’m talking with anyone of them at least once a week.” Good that phone calls got that cheap, “6.5 cent a minute”. In the crisis after the death of the father his mum and the siblings pushed him to not give up his career in Europe. “They said: ‘you’ve got to do it, this is your way, your determination’”. So Steven came to Hannover on January 10th, “I missed my family a lot”. But there was no way back. “If I want to do something, then I’ll do it. This is a matter of honour, I can’t give up that simple”. His catholic belief helps him. In former times he weekly attended the church “Our Lady of Mount Carmel” in San Diego, in Germany he only sporadically goes to church. “I don’t like to go alone, especially not because of the feeling that I have to go”. That’s also how he prays. “I do that if I need it and if I am having problems or feel in the mood to pray”. With 96 Cherundolo never had serious trouble, except the time after the torn ACL in March 2000. He always was the favourite of his coaches Horst Ehrmanntraut and Ralf Rangnick as he is easy to get along with due to his character traits. Everybody loves him, mainly the female supporters. He doesn’t want to be an admired star, Cherundolo rather wants to stay small and quiet. “I don’t want to be in the center of attraction and read about my private life in the newspapers”. Agreed, he doesn’t seem to be a person for scandals, nonetheless he at least became a local star in Hannover. His career started at the age of 5 in one of the wild American youth leagues, in a team without coach and club. With eleven he started with the San Diego Nomads, the best club in town. The parents paid 500 Dollars each year - unimaginable for German standards. But the education was first class. Basically Cherundolo spent “more time with my best friends playing baseball. I loved this sports tremendously.” With 14 he got the insight: “Soccer is better”. And Cherundolo soon belonged to the best ones in the USA. With 16 he played for the Californian youth selection, with 17 he was nominated for USA’s U-18 national team. Meanwhile he played 10 games for the US national team and took part in the WC. The fear of terrorist attacks was always accompanying the US team though the team was protected by “many, many policemen, CIA and FBI. They were there to make us feel secure, but I always looked back over my shoulder as I was afraid something might happen”. It didn’t, but Cherundolo got hurt early in the training and didn’t have playing time. Meanwhile he’s healthy and got his position as right back as secure as the CSU the next election victory in Bavaria [Bavarian party that always governed Bavaria since FRG exists, usually elected with more than 50%]. He wants to “stay in the league”. With God’s help. Steven Cherundolo was born on February 19th, 1979, in Rockford, Illinois. He’s neither married nor having a girlfriend. He studied American History and Politics for two semesters.