When the U.S. men's national team visits Sporting Park on Monday night, Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler will be noticeably absent.
A fixture over the past two-plus seasons, Besler was left off the CONCACAF Gold Cup roster two weeks ago — a decision U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann explained Sunday during a press conference.
"He had to swallow the pill that he's not in the 23 right now," Klinsmann said. "We talked through that. We've been in touch with each other. It's no problem at all.
"But it's a constant competition going on. ... If you look at the two left center backs with John Brooks, who (took) a huge, huge step in the last year, and also Tim Ream, who played a tremendous season with Bolton, we felt like both deserved to be in here at the expense of Matt right now."
Besler is still eligible to be called into the knockout stage of the Gold Cup. The U.S. has already clinched its spot there.
Klinsmann said decisions for the knockout stage roster will be decided after the match Monday night.