5. Matt Besler
Defender | Club: Sporting Kansas City
Overland Park, Kans.
In a back line rife with uncertainty and a lack of experience, Besler seems to be the only player assured of his starting spot. The 27-year-old, who helped Sporting Kansas City to an MLS Cup title in 2013, is also a relative newcomer to the international level. He rarely shows it, though, remaining composed in any rough environment the U.S. plays.
OUTLOOK: Besler was the steadiest defender in qualifiers, and the U.S. needs him to stay true to form and anchor the back line. Regardless of whether it is Geoff Cameron or Omar Gonzalez starting alongside him, Besler will have to pull the strings and be a leader to keep the line steady no matter if the U.S. is tied, ahead or trailing.