KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Sporting KC midfielder Graham Zusi received some exciting news on Monday. The U.S. National Team has added him to its roster.
Zusi now has a chance to play in the U.S. national team's upcoming qualifier at Livestrong Sporting Park in the semifinal round. Zusi will add depth to the national team, which may be without USA's all-time leading scorer Landon Donovan.
Trainers carried Donovan off the field on a stretcher after he suffered a knee injury on Saturday during the LA Galaxy's 2-1 loss against Real Salt Lake. Zusi and Donovan play the same position.
The U.S. National Team plays Friday, Oct. 12 against Antigua and Barbuda in Antigua. Then, team USA plays Tuesday, Oct. 16 against Guatemala at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., at 6 p.m. There is no guarantee Zusi will play in each qualifier.
"It's very exciting for me," Zusi said. "The implications are high and that's when it's most fun to play I think. These are two important games for us and we're looking to get maximum points on both. The game back in Kansas City should be an exciting one for me to play in front of a bunch of home fans. I'm excited for that one in particular."
The 26-year-old Zusi has played in four matches for the U.S. National Team this season. He leads Major League Soccer with 15 assists. His assist on Sunday broke a tie with Donovan for most in MLS. It also tied him with Preki's 2000 campaign for the third most in a season in club history.
The Sporting KC midfielder has had at least one goal or one assist in eight of the last eleven games for first-place Sporting KC. Zusi has three goals and seven assists in his last 11 matches.
The U.S. is tied with Guatemala and Jamaica with seven points in Group A, but holds the advantage over Jamaica on goal differential. The top two teams in the group will move to the final round of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The World Cup Qualifier between the United States and Guatemala at Livestrong Sporting Park on Oct. 16 is sold out. But anyone can attend a U.S. soccer public training session at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Livestrong Sporting Park. Admission and parking for the event are free. Fans who pre-register on ussoccer.com will be entered to have a chance to meet U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann at the stadium before the practice.
Sporting KC and The Legends Outlets will co-host a special fan-friendly SoccerFest from 12 to 2 p.m. This will take place after the training session. Fans can receive autograph and photo opportunities with Sporting KC players in attendance. The public is encouraged to bring items to have signed and the event will also feature children's soccer activities including inflatables and an appearance by the Sporting KC mascot.
The SoccerFest is free and open to the public and will be located at the center courtyard, as well as various locations throughout the center. For more information, visit LegendsShopping.com/OctoberFest .