Mexican soccer club Puebla FC is disrupting the U.S. men’s national soccer team’s preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
On Sunday, Puebla refused to grant American defenders DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco permission to join the U.S. national team ahead of Wednesday’s game between the United States and Mexico.
Beasley and Orozco were included in the original U.S. squad for the game, but Puebla declined to release them.
Since the game takes place outside of FIFA’s official window for exhibitions, the Liga MX (Mexican first division) club was not obligated to release their players.
However, the move leaves the U.S. shorthanded, which angered U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
“We are very disappointed in the decision by Puebla,” Klinsmann said, according to USSoccer.com. “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.”
The U.S. will face Mexico with a 20-man roster.
Wednesday’s game is the final game the U.S. will play before Klinsmann names his provisional squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Photo via Twitter/@MLS