Matt Besler is back in the U.S. national team picture.
After a prominent — and highly debated — absence during the Gold Cup last month, Sporting Kansas City's captain was named to the U.S. national team's 23-player roster for a pair of international friendlies next month.
The Americans will face Peru on Sept. 4 in Washington, D.C. before playing Brazil on Sept. 8 in Foxborough, Mass.
"It's always an honor to get called in for a national team camp," Besler said in a news release.
It's an especially notable call-up after Besler was left off the Gold Cup roster, when national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he felt he had better options to play center back.
"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," Klinsmann said during the Gold Cup.
The U.S. settled for a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Gold Cup.
Brooks and Ream were both named to the U.S. roster Sunday, as well.
The friendlies next month — which come during a break in Sporting Kansas City's schedule — will serve as preparation for an Oct. 10 playoff with Mexico that will determine a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
"Our goal is to be in the Confederations Cup every four years, and the next few weeks will be important in helping us reach that goal," Besler said.
Besler, 28, has enjoyed one of his best MLS seasons in 2015. He has played every minute of the previous 27 matches for Sporting KC, across all competitions, and he leads a back line that has allowed the fewest shots in the league. He's also second in the league with 172 clearances this season.
Besler is one of four Sporting KC players who will join their respective national teams during the FIFA window next week. Defender Marcel de Jong has been called in to the Canada national team; forward Krisztian Nemeth will join the Hungary national team; and Erik Palmer-Brown was called into the U.S. Under-20 men's national team.
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