The United States Men's National Team concludes its 2014 campaign Tuesday with an international friendly match against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin (1:45 p.m. CT, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes). Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler has traveled with Jurgen Klinsmann's squad to Aviva Stadium and is in contention for his 11th start of the year, most of any American player.
Besler has made 22 international appearances for the U.S. since his debut in 2013. The 27-year-old centerback started all four games for the Yanks at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and is one of 16 player on the current U.S. roster who competed in Brazil this summer.
Tuesday's contest against the Irish comes on the heels of a 2-1 friendly defeat to No. 3 Colombia on Friday in London. Jozy Altidore's 10th-minute penalty kick highlighted a match that saw Klinsmann employ a mix of veterans (Altidore, Jermaine Jones, Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya and Fabian Johnson) and younger players hoping to break into the next World Cup cycle (Greg Garza, Alfredo Morales, Rubio Rubin and Bobby Wood).
Besler and Stoke City FC defender Geoff Cameron were unused substitutes in the match but are likely to play in the Americans' last fixture of the year. The U.S. is 6-4-4 in 2014 and reached the Round of 16 at the World Cup, finishing runners-up in Group G behind eventual champions Germany.
Klinsmann sent three players -- Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen of the New England Revolution and DeAndre Yedlin of Seattle Sounders FC -- back to their respective clubs over the weekend as they prepare for the first legs of MLS Conference Championships this Sunday. Houston Dynamo fullback DaMarcus Beasley was the fourth MLS player to be released.
The Republic of Ireland, meanwhile, ends 2014 on a run of enigmatic results. The Irish are tied for second in Group D of UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying (2-1-1, 7 points), having drawn Germany 1-1 last month before slumping to a 1-0 loss at Scotland on Friday. Captain Robbie Keane played 12 minutes as a second half substitute, then returned to Los Angeles ahead of the Galaxy's Western Conference Championship matches against Seattle. Without Keane, Ireland's top scorer becomes Southampton FC forward Shane Long (11 goals in 50 appearances).
Ireland leads the all-time series against the U.S. 4-2-2, though the nations haven't met since April 2002.
United States Roster
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Hamburg), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Goalkeepers: David Forde (Millwall), Shay Given (Aston Villa), Darren Randolph (Birmingham), Rob Elliot (Newcastle)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), John O'Shea (Sunderland), Alex Pearce (Reading), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Stephen Ward (Burnley), Richard Keogh (Derby), Cyrus Christie (Derby)
Midfielders: James McCarthy, Darron Gibson, Aiden McGeady (all Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Derby), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff), James McClean (Wigan), Stephen Quinn (Hull City), Robbie Brady (Hull), David Meyler (Hull)
Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Jon Walters (Stoke), Kevin Doyle (Crystal Palace), Anthony Stokes (Celtic), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich), David McGoldrick (Ipswich)