Matt Besler, Benny Feilhaber and Graham Zusi on U.S. MNT roster ahead of Korea friendly
Sporting Kansas City's Matt Besler, Benny Feilhaber and Graham Zusi were named to the U.S. Men's National Team's updated roster on Friday ahead of the United States' first match of 2014 on Feb. 1 against Korea Republic. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will narrow his roster to 22 players for the final week of the month-long January Camp, as the team returns to Carson, Calif. on Saturday following 13 days in Brazil.
Defender Seth Sinovic, who earned the first U.S. Men's National Team invitation of his career for the camp and trained with the team for the past three weeks, has been released to join Sporting KC in Tucson, Ariz.
"All of the players have put in a tremendous amount of work and effort these past two weeks," said Klinsmann. "We had a great opportunity to introduce some new players into the Senior National Team Program and they have done extremely well. I think they have a bright future, and now they go back to their clubs with a better understanding of what it takes at the international level. We now move forward with the chance to finish off the camp with the goal of getting a result against Korea."
Besler, 26, debuted with the U.S. Men's National Team one year ago for the first of 12 international appearances, including six FIFA World Cup qualifiers and all three knockout round games en route to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup championship. The U.S. was 8-1-2 on the year with Besler in the starting lineup.
Major League Soccer's Defender of the Year in 2012 and runner-up for the award this past season, the Overland Park, Kan. native earned his second straight MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI selections in 2013. Besler has appeared in 126 MLS matches (including postseason) with two goals and six assists since being drafted in the first round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft out of Notre Dame.
Feilhaber, 28, has earned 40 caps for the United States, debuting in 2007 and playing at the highest levels with appearances in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, CONMEBOL Copa America, Summer Olympics, FIFA Confederations Cup and FIFA World Cup. In three MLS seasons, Feilhaber has eight goals and 15 assists in 83 games played (including playoffs).
The UCLA walk on began his professional career with contracts in Germany's Bundesliga, the English Premier League and the Danish SuperLiga before signing with the New England Revolution in 2011 and coming to Kansas City through a trade prior to the 2013 season.
Zusi, 27, has become a key contributor on the U.S. Men's National Team with 18 international appearances, highlighted by a role in 12 of the United States' last 13 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. He has tallied three goals and two assists for the U.S. MNT, including goals in each of the last two FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
An MLS MVP finalist in 2012 and nominee for Best MLS Player at the 2013 ESPYS, Zusi recorded a career-high six goals and a team-best 12 assists in all competition in 2013 and was the top-rated midfielder in the MLS Castrol Index. Zusi has 17 goals and 36 assists in 133 career MLS matches (including playoffs) over five seasons since being selected in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft out of Maryland.
The United States will kick off their highly-anticipated 2014 campaign against fellow FIFA World Cup finalist Korea Republic at 4 p.m. CT on Feb. 1 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The international friendly -- one of only two U.S. MNT games currently scheduled before the World Cup roster is named in May -- will be shown live on ESPN2, WatchESPN and UniMas in the United States and will also be broadcast nationally on ESPN Deportes Radio.
The USA and Korea Republic meet for the first time since the group phase of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, when the United States played the hosts to a 1-1 draw. Overall, the U.S. has a 1-3-2 record against Korea Republic all-time.