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Cherundolo will miss Summer Olympics after damaging knee ligament.

U.S. soccer
Defender Steve Cherundolo played every minute for the United States in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament, but will miss the Summer Games in Sydney after damaging a knee ligament.
HANNOVER, Germany (Friday, May 12, 2000) -- Two weeks after triumphantly routing Guatemala and qualifying for this summerís Olympics, the United States under-23 men suffered a bad loss.

Starting right back Steve Cherundolo suffered a serious knee injury and will miss the Summer Games in Sydney this September.

Cherundolo, who stands 5-foot-6 and weights 145 pounds, tore a ligament in a training session Wednesday with his club team Hannover 96 and will return to the U.S. for surgery that will keep him out at least six months. Noted orthopedic surgeon, J. Richard Steadman of Colorado, is expected to perform the operation.

"Of course itís a serious loss," said under-23 (Olympic) coach Clive Charles. "Weíll just have to adjust to it."

Cherundolo, 21, started all four games and never came out in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in Hershey, Pa.

Charles would not speculate whether he would use someone from the current player pool or use one of his three allowed "overage" players to fill Cherundoloís position.

"I havenít even started to think about who will replace him," Charles said. "Weíll just wait and see."

Because he was in Germany, the San Diego native did not see much action with the under-23s in 2000 until joining the final training camp in Florida less than a month before the qualifying tournament. In 1999, he served as captain of the U.S. under-20s who qualified and then advanced to the second round of the world championships in Nigeria in April.

Cherundolo signed with Hannover of the Bundesliga second division in January 1999 after completing his sophomore season at University of Portland where he played for Charles.

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