Sporting KC

Sporting KC’s Matt Besler called up to U.S. team for Gold Cup

Updated: 2013-07-18T05:39:16Z

The announcement wasn’t expected until Thursday morning, but U.S. Soccer announced four roster changes ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals late Wednesday via Twitter.

Sporting Kansas City centerback Matt Besler was among the four players Jurgen Klinsmann added as the U.S. men’s national team beefed up its roster for the knockout round after breezing through Group C round-robin play.

“I was preparing myself, because I knew I was on the initial roster,” Besler said. “But to be honest, there was no contact with the coaches until they called to let me know I was being called in.”

Besler will miss Sporting KC’s next two matches — at Real Salt Lake on Saturday and July 27 at the Montreal Impact.

“It’s always tough being away,” Besler said. “I hate missing games and I hate missing Sporting games for sure. I want to miss the least amount possible, especially two big games. But I can’t dwell on that. I’ll be playing with the national team and trying to win the Gold Cup.”

Real Salt Lake sits atop the Western Conference table and owns an MLS-best 37 points, while the Impact is two points behind Sporting KC in second place in the Eastern Conference.

“We’re on a roll right now and Jurgen said he hates to take me away from the team, but at the same time he said he’d like to have me come in, play in the Gold Cup and try to win the tournament,” Besler said.

The U.S. plays El Salvador on Sunday in Baltimore with a spot in the Gold Cup semifinals up for grabs.

Sporting KC midfielder Graham Zusi was available for selection, but he was not called into camp.

| Tod Palmer, tpalmer@kcstar.com

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