Monday, May 12, 2014

Besler and Zusi Named to Preliminary Roster

The US men's national team today named their 30 man preliminary roster ahead of this summer's World Cup in Brazil. The roster had a distinct MLS feel to it, with half the roster currently plying their trade in the league.

Included with the 15 MLS players are two from Sporting KC. Matt Besler and Graham Zusi will both join the US national team in Stanford for camp after Wednesday's game against the Philadelphia Union. Both Besler and Zusi were expected to be named to the roster and barring an injury, both should be on the plane to Brazil as well. Both should also get playing time in Brazil, with Besler expected to be the starter for the US in central defense when they take the field against Ghana on June 16th.

One other Sporting player was considered a long shot to make the roster, Benny Feilhaber. Feilhaber has likely started the 2014 season in the best form of his career and his ability to thread a pass (seen numerous times this season so far) had him on the lists of a few people who wanted to see that passing ability available to the US off the bench in Brazil. Feilhaber's lack of versatility though is likely one of the big things that hurt him. In Jurgen Klinsmann's 4-2-3-1 that he plays, Feilhaber really can only play in the middle of the three in the midfield. With a limited number of roster spots and the likes of Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, and Graham Zusi all able to play that middle position and other positions on the field Feilhaber's fate was already sealed. For Sporting though, this is good news. Being without both creators in the starting lineup would have caused KC a number of headaches for at least the rest of the month of May where they still have five games to play.

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