Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler was selected to the United States Men’s National Team roster on Wednesday to participate in the U.S. MNT January Camp from Jan. 10 – Feb. 6 in Carson, California.
"With World Cup qualifiers and Copa America, 2016 is an important year for the U.S. Men's National Team," Besler said. "This camp will be important for us to set the tone for the year. I'm excited to join my teammates as we prepare for the year ahead."
The annual training camp is highlighted by two international friendlies as the United States begins preparation for the 2016 Centennial Copa America in June. Jurgen Klinsmann’s 23-player squad will meet Iceland on Jan. 31 at 2:45 p.m. CT and Canada on Feb. 5 at 9:15 p.m. CT, with both matches taking place in Carson at StubHub Center.
Besler made his international debut in January 2013 and helped lead the U.S. to the CONCACAF Gold Cup title later that year. He was also a key contributor during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, starting all four matches as the Americans advanced to the Round of 16. He earned six of his 29 career caps in 2015, including a pair of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in November.
A native of Overland Park, Kansas, Besler ranks seventh in Sporting Kansas City history with 219 games played across all competitions since being selected in the first round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft out of Notre Dame. He is a four-time MLS All-Star (2011, 2013-15) and has twice been named to the MLS Best XI (2012-13) to go along with an MLS Defender of the Year honor in 2012.
Besler logged 38 appearances for Sporting Kansas City in 2015 and guided the club to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship. He led MLS in clearances while adding a career-best four assists in all competitions. The 28-year-old center back was named an MLS All-Star for the fourth time and shared Sporting KC Defensive Player of the Year honors with Soni Mustivar.
The United States — ranked 32nd in the latest FIFA rankings — will face Iceland and Canada ahead of this summer’s 2016 Centennial Copa America, a 16-team tournament that celebrates the centenary of CONMEBOL (the South American football confederation) and Copa America. The tournament, comprised of six CONCACAF nations and 10 CONMEBOL teams, will run from June 3-26 at 10 different venues across the U.S.
Prior to hosting Copa America, the U.S. will face Guatemala on March 25 (away) and March 29 (Columbus, Ohio) in CONCACAF’s semifinal round of 2018 World Cup qualifying.
U.S. January Camp Roster by Position
Goalkeepers (2): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
Defenders (5): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Eric Miller (Montreal Impact), Tim Parker (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Midfielders (11): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew SC), Jermaine Jones (Unattached), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Marc Pelosi (San Jose Earthquakes), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire), Tony Tchani (Columbus Crew SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
Forwards (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart), Jordan Morris (Unattached), Khiry Shelton (New York City FC), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)