Saturday, October 12, 2013

Besler to Remain in KC, Zusi to Panama

Jurgen Klinsmann today made some roster changes ahead of the USA's trip to Panama for the final World Cup qualifier. After the USA's 2-0 win over Jamaica along with Costa Rica's draw with Honduras, the Yanks clinched first place in the group. There's still an outside chance that the US can get a seed at the World Cup next year, but at this point it would take a number of events to take place.

In preparation for the game in Panama, Klinsmann has released four players and called up one replacement. Matt Besler, Landon Donovan, Jermaine Jones, and Tim Howard are all returning to their club teams after last night's result. Being called in is Sean Johnson from the Chicago Fire.

Besler's return will be a boost for Kansas City ahead of Friday's game against DC United. Sporting will need Besler in the lineup with Aurelien Collin again suspended for a game due to yellow card accumulation. Besler is likely to anchor the back line alongside Ike Opara, like he did in his last game for the club against Columbus.

Meanwhile, Sporting KC's other representative, and Friday's hero, Graham Zusi will remain with the US team. Neither move is a big surprise. Besler is desperately needed by KC for the game against DC, and not forcing him to travel to Panama and back for a game. With Omar Gonzalez withdrawing earlier in the week, the game isn't really an opportunity for Klinsmann to work on the relationship between those two so letting Besler return makes sense. Zusi staying also makes sense. With Landon Donovan "hurt" according to Klinsmann's quotes, and LA's request earlier in the week for him to return, Zusi looks set to get back into the starting lineup for the US team in Panama, the location where he scored his first goal for the national team.

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