In its next step toward World Cup qualification, the United States men’s national team won’t seek help from the Sporting Kansas City roster.
Coach Bruce Arena released his 24-player roster for the Americans’ pair of World Cup qualifiers later this month, and it’s absent all Sporting KC players.
No Graham Zusi. No Matt Besler. No Benny Feilhaber.
“We put together a roster that we think has balance and one that gives us an option in playing a number of different ways,” Arena said in a news release. “It’s a roster where the primary rationale is to help us be successful in these two games, but we’re also looking down the road and bringing in some young players that we think have an opportunity to be an important part of the national team program as well. Our approach to these games is simple: We want to win.”
In January, Arena invited Zusi and Feilhaber to his first camp during his second stint as the national team coach. They played in a pair of national team friendlies. Besler missed the camp while rehabbing a left ankle injury.
The United States faces Honduras on March 24 before traveling to Panama on March 28 in the first two competitive matches since Arena assumed the job in November. Sporting KC midfielder Roger Espinoza was called up to the Honduras roster earlier this week.
The Americans are 0-2 in the hexagonal, the final round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which prompted previous coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s firing.