Sporting KC

Sporting KC defender Matt Besler called up to U.S. national team

United States’ Matt Besler (right) and Ecuador’s Enner Valencia fight for the ball during a Copa America Centenario quarterfinal soccer match in June at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. The U.S. won the match 2-1.
United States’ Matt Besler (right) and Ecuador’s Enner Valencia fight for the ball during a Copa America Centenario quarterfinal soccer match in June at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. The U.S. won the match 2-1. The Associated Press

Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler is back with the U.S. national team.

Besler was called to join the Americans ahead of their international friendly Tuesday against New Zealand. The match is at 7 p.m. in Washington, D.C.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann made nine changes from the roster that defeated Cuba 2-0 on Friday.

“These friendly games are about getting our group ready for (World Cup qualifying matches against) Mexico and Costa Rica,” Klinsmann said in the announcement. “For the guys coming in, it’s a chance to prove their point.

“When it comes to roster spots for November, the fight is on.”

The Americans will play host to Mexico on Nov. 11 in Columbus, Ohio, before facing Costa Rica four days later in San Jose.

Besler has made 36 career appearances with the national team, with his most recent stint serving as one of his most memorable. In a 6-0 win against St. Vincent and the Grenadines last month, Besler scored his first career goal with the U.S. team — hours after learning his wife, Amanda, gave birth to their daughter, Parker.

Besler has not played in Sporting KC’s past two matches, a coaching staff decision. In all, he has made 15 starts this season, recording one goal and one assist from his center back position.

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