GROWTH IN CENTRAL DEFENSE
EXTRA TIME
KRIS LINDSAY - Monday, June 17, 2013
It isn't rare for a pair of starting national team center backs to be separated by a mere four caps on a team, especially if they have played together for years.

It is rare however, for the two starters to be at only ten and six caps each, which is where United States internationals Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler find themselves.

"I try not to think about it too much really," Besler said to YA. "I try to go out every game and help the team win, and every opportunity that I get with the national team is just another opportunity to do that."

The 26 year old Sporting Kansas City defender has come out of his baptism by fire without a burn, allowing with Gonzalez just one goal in the past three games, picking up a draw in Mexico City, three points on the road at Jamaica, and three points at home to Panama.

Omar Gonzalez comes with a little more experience under his belt. The Los Angeles Galaxy defender has quickly become the first choice defender in the absence of Carlos Bocanegra. "It all happened pretty fast," described the 24 year old. "I haven't had enough time to think about it. I'm really happy to be her playing for the team and being able to contribute."

Gonzalez and Besler have been paired during the last three qualifiers. At 6'5" and 6'0" respectively, the pair have had to rely on their budding chemistry to keep opponents off the board.

"Our chemistry is growing," explained Besler. "we feel very comfortable with each other."

Gonzalez agreed. "Things aren't perfect, but I'd say that we have been doing well together. Giving up few chances on goal each game isn't bad."

The duo will need to mesh well for the upcoming qualifier, facing a confident Honduras side that is coming off of their own 2-0 victory. The USA will encounter the one team in the Hexagonal that they have fallen two, conceding two goals.

The two defenders are confident. "The key to this partnership is just making sure that we cover each other, we are always together," explained Besler. "I feel like it's grown, but we are still not there."

Gonzalez added, "I think we've built up a lot of confidence now. If we can keep teams at bay all game, it gives us the opportunity to get on the board and win games."

The USA will continue their preparation for a hungry Honduras through next Monday, before taking on the Central American team Tuesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
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