MLS Stars Shine For USA

The USMNT was strengthened with the play of a handful of players from MLS for two friendlies
by Katherine Rupp   |   Wednesday, September 09, 2015

US Soccer Federation (USSF)

An in-form MLS player can be seen as a threat – for club and country – to any opposing team. However, oftentimes they are seen as needing refinement (which, in many situations, is the case) or possibly greater experience (which, again, in many cases is the situation), when in reality, MLS players – regardless of a person’s sentiment toward Major League Soccer – can go toe to toe with the best in the world.

Recently the United States men’s national team played two friendlies – one against Peru and the other against the infamous Brazilian national team featuring, among other players, Hulk, Kaka, Neymar, and David Luiz.

Against Peru, many MLSers came out playing some of their best matches in awhile. Although he hadn’t been called up in a few months, Matt Besler – with the strong and silent showings with club team with Sporting Kansas City – showed why the KC captain still should be called in. And though Besler only played not even half an hour in his showing against Peru, his substitution should be shown as a highlight of why specific MLS players should be called up to the USMNT.

Additionally, two other Major League Soccer players – Jozy Altidore from Toronto FC and Gyasi Zardes of the LA Galaxy – who started against Peru were both vital to the confidence of the team and the result of the game. Jozy, with two goals against Peru, seemingly escalated his game during the match and was quite impressive, especially considering his past few appearances with the Nats were poor. Zardes, the hard-working Galaxy forward, looked to show off his skills and that he did. Although not perfect, as rarely anyone on the USMNT is (except for Tim Howard against Belgium), Zardes continues to work hard and that hard work pays off.

However solid of a work rate and team effort for MLSers and USMNT members who play overseas for the Peru game were, the same won’t be said for Brazil. His hold up play wasn’t what it was for the Peru game. Altidore’s TFC teammate and USMNT captain, Michael Bradley, always leaves everything on the pitch but for this game in particular, there wasn’t as much of the spark that the General usually plays with.

The Brazil match, and in many ways, the Peru match, were both departures from the confident team that beat the Netherlands and Germany a handful of months ago. Not too many MLS players took the pitch in the game against Brazil, but when all is said and done, those MLS players who were called up during these international friendlies did indeed make an impact and should be called upon for future games – including the upcoming match in October against Mexico.

Katherine RUPP

Drake University
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Tottenham Hotspur
Unabashed Minnesotan by birth. Tried reliving the glory days of collegiate intramural soccer championships but an ACL tear dashed future hopes of adult recreational greatness. Covering a city’s team that’s too big for one state: SKC.