On Wednesday, fans of the United States men's national team were forced to honor the career of Steve Cherundolo, who at 35 announced his retirement from playing, as per NBC's ProSoccerTalk.
Cherundolo was one of the most respected players of his generation and he was also a pioneer of sorts by playing abroad.
The right-back was also a model of consistency at the position for the United States in a decade that saw plenty of ups and downs for the Yanks.
Up until last season, Cherundolo was slotted in by many to be the starting right-back in Brazil for the Yanks, but injuries cut his final World Cup dream, and his career, short.
Ever since the man dubbed the "Mayor of Hannover" caught the injury bug, his position on the national team has seen plenty of potential heirs to his throne.
The replacement for the three-time World Cup veteran in 2013 was Brad Evans, but Geoff Cameron, Michael Parkhurst and Timmy Chandler could all feature in the back line in Brazil.
Steve Cherundolo is a rare one club legend and a best all-time XI #usmnt legend. It's a shame injuries won't let him leave on his terms.— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) March 19, 2014
With the departure of Cherundolo from the national team, the fans of the United States were finally able to realize just how valuable he was on the right flank.
The 35-year-old, who played for Hannover since 1999, made 87 appearances for the United States, 83 of which were starts.
The Mayor has presided over his last term. Long live the Mayor. Steve Cherundolo, first cap .. September 8 ... 1999.— Matthew Tomaszewicz (@shinguardian) March 19, 2014
While he only recorded two goals and 10 assists during his international career, Cherundolo made an impact away from the stat sheet as he always brought a stellar sense of professionalism to the pitch.
Steve Cherundolo; classic player who was so steady it was easy to take him for granted...until he was gone. Fantastic in 2010 WC. #usmnt— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) March 19, 2014
Still amazed by how underrated Steve Cherundolo was. Will never forget him destroying James Milner at 2010 World Cup. #usmnt— Doug McIntyre (@DougMacESPN) March 19, 2014
Most of the American fanbase were hoping for the return of Cherundolo for Brazil because of how shaky the play at right-back has been lately, but that was not to be for the player who was underappreciated throughout his playing career.
Cherundolo also set the tone at the club level for Americans abroad as he played in 302 Bundesliga games for Hannover.
Nowadays, seeing an American player suit up for a European club is a common sight, but back in 1999 when Cherundolo began his professional career in Germany, he was one of the few players who took the risk of moving overseas for first-team football.
Cherundolo will not leave the club that he represented for such a long time as he will join up with the coaching staff of the under-23 team.
Per the press conference: Steve Cherundolo will become a "co-trainer" Hannover's U23 team. And so his coaching career beings. #usmnt— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) March 19, 2014
If he is as good a coach as he was a player, do not be shocked to see Cherundolo manning the sidelines for the United States in the distant future.
Before we spend time speculating on what should be a long coaching career for Cherundolo, we should look back and realize just how important he was to the development of the game in the United States.
As a pioneer overseas and a steady hand for the national team, Cherundolo was everything you could ask for in a player at both the club and international levels.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.