The Puebla players were on the original roster, but U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann says the Liga MX outfit has reversed course.
"Well, we got notice (Sunday) from Puebla that they don’t release DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco, which we’d planned on and we are very angry, very angry about this because the Mexican clubs release all their players for this very prestigious friendly," manager Jurgen Klinsmann told Univision on Sunday.
U.S. SOCCER LATEST
"For us, World Cup kind of coming up, (it's) very important," he continued. "And a team that doesn’t play in the CONCACAF Champions League next week, Puebla, which we have a lot of respect for, but they don’t release our two players which are very important players to us — (it) makes us upset. You know, I am upset with that. I told the players and I told it to my people at the club as well, so we don’t appreciate that at all."
A U.S. Soccer spokesman told Goal USA the federation recieved the news from the club Sunday afternoon. There will be no replacements on the U.S. roster.
Beasley made seven starts at left back in the final round of World Cup qualification, though he plays a different role with La Franja. Orozco is a defender who Klinsmann has utilized both at right back and centrally. He scored a goal in the Estadio Azteca in August 2012, the last time the U.S. and Mexico met in a friendly, to secure the Americans' first win in that stadium. Unlike Beasley, it's unclear whether he is part of Klinsmann's World Cup plans.
Puebla is struggling in Liga MX, with the possibility of relegation still on the table, but it is coming off a 1-1 draw against Leon on Sunday and plays again when it visits Atlas on Saturday in Guadalajara. It does not have any Mexican players who have been called up to represent the national team.
"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," Klinsmann said in a news release. "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."
As Klinsmann alluded, other Mexican teams have permitted players to miss significant time in order to suit up for El Tri in the friendly, which clubs are not mandated to allow players to leave for since it is outside of a FIFA window.
Toluca released three players to the Mexican national team and will be without Isaac Brizuela, Miguel Ponce and Alfredo Talavera when it faces Alajuelense in the first leg of a CONCACAF Champions League semifinal. Cruz Azul similarly released Marco Fabian and Rogelio Chavez to Miguel Herrera ahead of its semifinal against Tijuana, which declined to release players to either team.