The call came in January 2013, and for the first time in his career, Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler joined the U.S. men’s national team for its annual winter camp. He made his international debut later that month in a match against Canada.
Nearly three years later, Besler has retained his stature as a fixture in head coach Jürgen Klinsmann’s plans.
Besler was named Wednesday to the annual January camp, and he will join the national team in Carson, Calif. on Monday. The camp runs through Feb. 6 and includes a pair of international exhibitions.
“With World Cup qualifiers and Copa America, 2016 is an important year,” Besler said. “This camp will be important for us to set the tone for the year.”
The U.S. will face Iceland at 2:45 p.m. on Jan. 31 before playing against Canada at 9:15 p.m. on Feb. 5. Both matches will take place at the StubHub Center in Carson, outside of Los Angeles.
Besler is the only Sporting KC player who will join the camp. Graham Zusi was not part of the final roster.
Besler made six international appearances for the Americans in 2015 — interrupted by a brief summer absence. By contrast, he made 23 over the previous two years, marked by his inclusion in the 2014 World Cup.
The U.S. roster for the camp includes a mix of senior team veterans and younger players who will likely appear on the U.S. under-23 Olympic qualifying team when it plays a two-game playoff against Colombia in March for an Olympic berth.