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May 232013

It is an example of how much Major League Soccer has progressed with the league taking a break for internationals and that is all to the good as no less than seven Sporting Kansas City players are going to join international outfits.

At the youth level is the lone 2013 MLS Draft pick Mikey Lopez who has been called up by the United States U-20 team for a tournament in Toulon, France in preparation for the FIFA U-20 tournament that will take place later this summer. As being part of the team during its qualification for the tournament during the CONCACAF U-20 tournament prior to the start of the MLS season. Lopez will miss out on his chance to make an appearance during the US Open Cup 3rd round match against USL PDL side Des Moines which would be the first time Lopez could make his Sporting debut.

The most interesting call-up must be the Lebanon national team calling up Soony Saad for a friendly against Oman on May 29. Having only recently qualified to be called up this will not permanently tie him to the country until he appears in a competitive match but considering his age and the possibilities he could be one of the better players for Lebanon, who are on the up internationally, who will look to use their improvement from making the final World Cup qualification round for Asia. Lebanon might be looking for Saad to bolster their Asian Cup qualifying campaign as has only started.

Kei Kamara has been called up by the new Sierra Leone manager Johnny McKinstry as the next round of World Cup qualifiers occur. Sierra Leone are currently in second place behind Tunisia and face the leaders at home on June 8 and then visit bottom of the table Cape Verde on June 15.

Graham Zusi and Matt Besler have been called up for the United States camp for the friendlies on May 29 and June 2 against Belgium and Germany as they prepare for the three World Cup qualifiers on June 7, 11, 18. Zusi has been part of the US set up for some time and is most likely to be called up for the qualifiers and extending his national team stay, with a rapreve during the Gold Cup to offer the opportunity for other players to make their mark. Besler made an impession against Mexico but might not make the squad for the qualifiers, if so he is a shoe in for the Gold Cup squad in July.

Mechack Jerome and Peterson Joseph have been called up by Haiti for friendlies against Spain in Miami, Florida on June 8 and Italy in Rio de Janeiro June 12. There is a strong chance that both will be called up for Haiti for the Gold Cup in July as they have been drawn into Group B along with Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador, and Honduras.

Brian Sanders

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