Sporting Kansas City players Benny Feilhaber and Graham Zusi were named to the United States Men’s National Team roster on Thursday to participate in the U.S. MNT January Camp beginning Jan. 10 in Carson, California.
The annual training camp will conclude with two international friendlies as the United States begins preparation for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup and continues its 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. Led by newly appointed head coach Bruce Arena, the U.S. MNT will face Serbia on Jan. 29 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego (3 p.m. CT, ESPN2, UniMas) before meeting Jamaica on Feb. 3 at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee (6 p.m. CT, FS1, UniMas).
"This is an opportunity that I've been waiting for," Feilhaber said. "I'm appreciative that Bruce has given me the chance to prove myself again on the international stage. Every player is entering January Camp with a clean slate and I plan to make the most of the opportunity given to me."
The entirety of Arena’s 32-player roster comes from Major League Soccer, with 15 different clubs represented. Feilhaber and Zusi are two of nine World Cup veterans on the squad.
Feilhaber, 31, earns his first selection to the U.S. MNT since participating in January Camp three years ago and appearing in a 2-0 win over South Korea on Feb. 1, 2014. The midfielder amassed 38 of his 41 career caps for the U.S. between 2007 and 2010, featuring in major international tournaments each year.
Feilhaber scored the game-winning goal on a volley in the 2007 Gold Cup final against Mexico before competing at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He helped lead the U.S. to the final of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and also made three appearances at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa as the U.S. reached the Round of 16. At the U-20 level, Feilhaber was a member of the U.S. squad at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship.
A six-year MLS veteran and a professional since 2005, Feilhaber has been one of Major League Soccer’s most prolific players over the last two seasons. His 45 combined goals (17) and assists (28) since the start of 2015 rank fifth in MLS and second among midfielders. Feilhaber was Sporting KC’s 2016 Offensive Player of the Year, totaling eight goals and 14 assists in all competitions, and was an MLS MVP finalist in 2015 after setting regular season career-highs in goals (10) and assists (15).
A member of Sporting Kansas City since 2013, Feilhaber has recorded 28 goals and 50 assists in 145 matches across all competitions. He ranks fourth on the club’s all-time assist chart.
Zusi, 30, has logged 42 international appearances since debuting during the 2012 January Camp. He is listed as a defender on Arena’s roster, having featured as Sporting KC’s right back multiple times in 2016. The versatile player has five goals and six assists for the U.S. MNT, including two goals in 2016. He scored in a 4-0 win over Guatemala on March 29 and struck again in a 4-0 rout of Costa Rica on June 7 at the Copa America Centenario, helping his team reach the semifinals of the prestigious competition.
"It's an honor every time you get named to a national team roster," Zusi said. "I'm excited to work with Bruce and his staff as we continue to push toward our goal of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup."
Zusi played all four matches for the U.S. at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, assisting two goals as the U.S. advanced to the knockout stage. He also competed at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and has appeared three times during 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
A 2009 MLS SuperDraft selection, Zusi has tallied 29 goals and 60 assists in 227 competitive appearances for Sporting Kansas City, ranking second on the club’s all-time assist chart. He is a two-time MLS Best XI honoree (2012-13) and was the only player to appear in every MLS All-Star Game from 2012-2015. During Major League Soccer’s Opta era (2011 – present), Zusi ranks second in chances created (418) and third in assists (47).
U.S. Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (5): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders FC), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
DEFENDERS (10): DaMarcus Beasley (Unattached), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Greg Garza (Atlanta United FC), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Taylor Kemp (D.C. United), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC), Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia Union), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (12): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Jermaine Jones (Unattached), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Kekuta Manneh (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
FORWARDS (5): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)