American Exports: Steve Cherundolo announces retirement in Hannover press conference

Steve Cherundolo in US colors

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USA TODAY Sports

Veteran US national team and Bundesliga defender Steve Cherundolo announce his retirement on Wednesday, as reported by the German newspaper Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung this morning.

In a press conference held Wednesday evening, Cherundolo and club president Martin Kind announced that the defender is retiring and will join Hannover's coaching staff.

Cherundolo, who turned 35 years old last month, has played his entire career for Bundesliga club Hannover 96, debuting in 1999. He holds the club record with 302 appearances in the German top flight and has been a fan favorite through the years, despite appearing in just matches this season due to recurring knee injuries.

Named to the US roster for the last three World Cups, Cherundolo was a starter in both 2006 and 2010, playing the last seven World Cup matches for the US at right back. He also played for the US in three Gold Cup tournaments, including the 2005 championship, and the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup.

He was a regular in the current World Cup qualifying cycle through the semifinal round in fall 2012, making his final appearance for the US in the Oct. 16, 2012 victory over Guatemala that secured passage to the CONCACAF Hexagonal.

Cherundolo ends his international career with 87 caps, including 83 starts, and two goals. He was a finalist for US Soccer Player of the Year in both 2010 and 2011.

Born in Rockford, Ill., Cherundolo grew up in San Diego and played two years of collegiate soccer at the University of Portland in 1997-98.