Deutsche Welle - World Cup 2006 | 28.03.2006
Steve Cherundolo plays right defender for the US national team and Bundesliga club Hanover
Sean Sinico interviewed Steve Cherundolo on the US chances at the World Cup
The US team reached the quarter-finals four years ago. What do you expect of this World Cup in Germany?
It's going to be a great event. It's going to be better than the last World Cup as far as organization and fan support go. I expect three very tough games for us. I'm looking forward to getting all the preparation over with and just get on the field against the Czech Republic in the first game in Gelsenkirchen. We're concentrating on the preparation for the first round and that's going to be tough enough to get through as it is. If we do get through, we'll look to see who we play in the second round and go from there.
You have Italy and Ghana in your group as well. Is that one of the hardest groups?
Everybody says it's one of the hardest. I think one of the reasons why it's a difficult group is because we're there, too. And Ghana is no pushover either. For most people there are two favorites in the group, for me there are four very strong teams.
After your game against Poland in Kaiserslautern, US fans at the nearby Ramstein Air Base said they wanted to make your match against Italy in Kaiserslautern like a home game for the US. How big do you think the fans support will be and how important is it for the team?
I think it's very important. A pro-US crowd is something that we rarely have, even in the United States. If we could have that at the world's biggest stage, at a World Cup, at one of the most important games for us, that would mean all the world to us. I think against Poland in the second half when we went ahead, you heard the fans and you saw a difference in our play. The guys were more confident on the ball and we really, really played well in the second half against Poland. If we could have that kind of atmosphere against Italy that would be fantastic.