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USMNT: SKC's Besler and Zusi called in for friendly with Mexico

SKC's Besler and Zusi have another opportunity to impress U.S. coach Klinsmann
SKC's Besler and Zusi have another opportunity to impress U.S. coach Klinsmann
Thad Bell

Sporting Kansas City central defender and captain Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi have been called into the U.S. Men's National Team camp for next week's friendly against Mexico.  U.S. Soccer announced the 22 man roster Wednesday. Besler and Zusi will both be available for Sporting KC's match with Colorado before joining the U.S. camp.

"It's an important game for us," Besler said after practice this morning.  "I think for a number of different reasons, the timing of it, the opponent. The best way for guys to make cases individually is to play well as a team so we are going to come into camp focused and trying to build that chemistry and trying to win the game."

Besler has made 13 appearances for the United States since debuting in January 2013 in a friendly with Canada. He truly impressed in his second start when he helped shut down Mexico at Estadio Azteca a year ago in March, earning the U.S. a valuable road point in qualifying.

"It's one of our big rivals," Zusi said via press release. "It's another big test before the World Cup so any opportunity where we can get out on the field together is an opportunity to get better as a team. I think we have done a great job of coming together as a team, knowing what we want to accomplish and how we want to accomplish it as a team and now it's just fine-tuning."

"Graham over the last two years has established himself strongly with the National Team and especially in many World Cup qualifiers as a very good performer," Klinsmann said via press release.

Zusi has 19 appearances with the United States Men's National Team, including the last three meetings with Mexico (2-0-1).

Where is Benny?

The only real surprise on the U.S. roster is who is not on it. Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber has been arguably the best player on Sporting KC since last year's successful playoff run to win the MLS Cup. Feilhaber is the only non-keeper to start all five games this year and has looked dangerous even against Crux Azul in Mexico.


Most of the roster is comprised of MLS players, with a total of 19 players from 11 clubs. The Puebla duo of DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco represents Liga MX and Bayern Munich forward Julian Green the lone European based player. With the match not occurring on an international fixture date, most of the European-based players were not available. This could be Green's first appearance for the U.S. after making his one-time switch from Germany.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS (4): Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)