Monday, March 18, 2013

Besler and Zusi Called Up for Qualifiers

Jurgen Klinsmann today announced his roster ahead of two key World Cup qualifiers, starting on Friday in Colorado against Costa Rica.  Sporting Kansas City will be represented by two players on the roster for the game, defender Matt Besler, and midfielder Graham Zusi both return to the national team.
Besler is one of only 6 defenders on the roster for the games against Costa Rica and against Mexico.  The roster only includes two natural wingbacks in Tony Beltran and Justin Morrow.  Geoff Cameron is a possibility to play as a right back like he does at Stoke, or DaMarcus Beasley at left back.  Besler also has experience as a left back, playing there much of his rookie season there.  Although I'm not sure I'd want him there in his second cap for the national team.  What's more likely is that while Cameron moves out to the right back, Besler will get to fight it out with Omar Gonzalez, Clarence Goodson, and midfielder Maurice Edu for the two starting center back spots for the US.  From first glance I'd have Besler on the bench behind Gonzalez and Edu.
Zusi continues to be an almost automatic call up for the US during this qualifying cycle since coming onto the scene in last year's Camp Cupcake.  Zusi will likely be expected to be the bigger contributor of KC's two call ups, and potentially start.  The worry with Zusi, is that he, like Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, and the previously mentioned Edu are all carrying yellow cards and will be suspended for the next Hex game should they pick one up.
Both players will miss this weekend's trip to New England for Sporting KC.  With both of them out, it would appear that Ike Opara could make his first appearance for Sporting KC, partnering Aurelien Collin in the middle of defense.  This could also see the return of Bobby Convey to the starting lineup after he sat out Saturday's draw with the Chicago Fire.  The only other possibility could be a first start of the season for Soony Saad, who was KC's only substitute against the Fire.  On the New England side of things, the Revolution will be without Jerry Bengston who was called up for Honduras.

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