ASN Morning Read: It's All Smiles in Kansas City

Matt Besler and Graham Zusi are making noise in the middle of the country with their excellent play in the middle of the field; the United States gets a chance for revenge; Bradley to The Daily Show.
BY Jesse Yomtov Posted
July 19, 2013
8:20 AM
  • The New York Times has a great profile on Matt Besler, who as we know, was added to the team for the Gold Cup knockout stage. The 26-year-old Kansas native says his upbringing in a state not known for producing talent is a big part of why he is where he is today. “I view it as I have a chip on my shoulder coming from Kansas. I’d been overlooked for many years and the whole state has been overlooked talent-wise. I kind of carry a chip on my shoulder to try to prove people wrong.”

  • Speaking of Besler, Kyle McCarthy takes a look at Sporting Kansas City’s ability to hold onto him, as well as Graham Zusi. While in Besler’s case, he hadn’t yet broken into the national team when he re-signed in December, Zusi’s extension came at the end of June, right after the string of qualifiers. “(Klinsmann) wants you to get consistent minutes in highly competitive games,” Zusi said. “I think, for me at this point in my career, this is the place where I want to be doing that. It will give me the best chance to get that World Cup spot.” The same went for Besler. “I weighed the four or five options that I had,” Besler said. “At the end of the day, it really wasn't even close. Sporting Kansas City—for a number of reasons—was the best situation for me to succeed.”

  • Is it too soon to talk about last year’s Olympic qualifying? Six players on this El Salvador squad were on the team that kept the U.S. from advancing last March and Jonah Freedman thinks Sunday is the perfect chance to put that debacle behind us: “This is about burying a horrible memory for good. It’s about fulfilling the promise. It’s about getting a job done instead of folding. And it’s about acknowledging a past failure and learning from it.” If only Brek Shea had taken the ball to the corner flag...

  • Alexi Lalas weighed in on Mexico’s struggles in 2013, going as far as to call El Tri “soft” and says a big part of it is mental.“You have a bunch of younger players who are told from a very young age how great they are, even given the moniker of a 'Golden Generation' and without a doubt, some of the results would tend to back it up, but that only lasts so long.” Hey, the whole “Golden Generation” thing really worked out well for England.

  • Steve Goff has ticket sales updates. M&T Bank Stadium is going be rocking. Rocking in favor of El Salvador, but rocking nonetheless:

  • We see you there at left back, Tim Ream. Quote please: “I played there quite a lot for my youth clubs and university sides so it’s a position I know fairly well,” admitted the defender. “But, if I’m honest, I haven’t played there in four years so it’s a little bit of an adjustment. I’m working on it day by day but I’m trying to pick up on things and, hopefully, I can stake my claim for a starting position. You want to play wherever you can best help the team. If the left-back spot is where I can help—either starting, or by pushing Marc (Tierney) to his fullest—then so be it.”

  • Jermaine Jones would like Schalke to compete for the Bundesliga title. Okay, good luck with that.

  • Bob Bradley update:
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