Monday, February 4, 2013

Sporting KC's Matt Besler, Graham Zusi selected to U.S. Men's National Team

Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi were named to the U.S. Men's National Team roster on Monday, U.S. Soccer announced ahead of the country's opening match in the Final Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying against Honduras on Wednesday.

U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann selected 24 players to the squad, which will train in Miami this morning before departing for San Pedro Sula, Honduras in the afternoon.

Zusi has started each of the United States last three FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the previous round and has made seven total appearances for the U.S. Men's National Team.
The 26-year-old playmaker led Major League Soccer with a single season career-high 15 assists in 2012, earning MLS Best XI and All-Star honors en route to finishing third in MVP voting.

Besler, 25, made his international debut last week in scoreless draw against Canada and is one of seven players on the roster seeking their first appearance in a FIFA World Cup qualifier.

The Overland Park, Kan. native is coming off a stellar 2012 campaign in which he received Best XI honors and was named MLS Defender of the Year and MLS Breakout Player of the Year.

Both players have been training with the U.S. Men's National Team from Jan. 7-29 as part of the team's January Camp and will join their Sporting Kansas City teammates in Orlando, Fla. following Wednesday's match.

The U.S. and Honduras are part of the six-team Hexagonal along with Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico and Panama. The 10-game, round-robin format will be contested from Feb. 6-Oct.10.

The top three teams will automatically advance to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, while the fourth-place team will compete in a two-leg playoff against the champion from the Oceania Confederation.

Wednesday's match kicks off at 3 p.m. CT at Estadio OlĂ­mpico and the match will be broadcast live on beIN SPORT.