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Puebla refuses to release Beasley and Orozco
by Paul Kennedy, March 31st, 2014 2:27PM

TAGS:  men's national team, mexico


[USA-MEXICO] The USA will be without defenders DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco for Wednesday's match against Mexico at University of Phoenix Stadium after their Mexican club, Puebla, refused to release them.

The game is not being played on an official FIFA fixture date so clubs are under no obligation to release players. Mexican clubs Cruz Azul and Toluca released players even though they have Concacaf Champions League matches on Tuesday. It is not known if Tijuana, the third Mexican club in the CCL semifinals, was asked by U.S. Soccer to release any of its American players.

Puebla is in last place in the Liga MX's Torneo Clausura and struggling with financial problems. Despite its last-place position, it will not necessarily face relegation, though, as Mexico relegates one team based on records over the last three seasons. Puebla is five points clear of Atlante, last in the relegation standings, with four games to play.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will not add any replacements, leaving him with six defenders, including Tony Beltran, who replaced Brad Evans on Sunday. Evans' withdrawal put Michael Parkhurst in line to start at right back, but he'll now likely start on the left side, like he did against South Korea in January, and the shift would put young DeAndre Yedlin in line to get his first start for the USA at right back.

"We are very disappointed in the decision by Puebla," said Klinsmann. "When the match was scheduled, it was with the spirit that both teams would have access to their domestic-based players for what is a very important game for those competing for spots in the World Cup. Both MLS and most clubs in Liga MX honored that idea. While we understand their position, it's a huge opportunity lost for DaMarcus and Michael and doesn't contribute to the continuation of this respected rivalry."

More than 50,000 tickets have been sold for USA-Mexico, the final match before the start of final World Cup preparations.

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).
DEFENDERS (6): Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders).
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
FORWARDS (4): Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).

1 comment
  1. Gary Levitt
    commented on: April 1, 2014 at 8:49 a.m.
    Crap move by Puebla and the FMF. Maybe this will help re-ignite the rivalry from the old days? For you youngsters, a US v MEX match, friendly or not, was always a physical beat down one way or another. Hermosillo, Borgetti, Suarez, Campos, Aspe, and the beloved Luis Hernandez loved to play against the USA.

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