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Sierra Leone experiences heart break while America puts themselves in a very healthy position ahead of Oct. 16th game against Guatemala at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
While most of the Sporting Kansas City squad had the weekend off for the FIFA international break, arguably two of the squad's most valued players, Kei Kamara and Graham Zusi, were each hard at work with their respective national teams, Kamara with Sierra Leone, and Zusi with the United States.
Sierra Leone were eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday as they drew Tunisia 0-0. Tunisia advanced via the away goals rule in a second round tie that was heavily contested. In early September Sierra Leone had drawn Tunisia 2-2 in Freetown, all Sierra Leone had to do on Saturday was draw 3-3 or win by at least a goal. Unfortunately for Kei and the rest of his team, they were not able to muster a goal in a scrappy game that was apparently "one to be forgotten".
Kei tweeted this after the game:
Back in town where there's Internet. Bout the game last nite, winning away in Africa is just IMPOSSIBLE. SMH.
Happy we left it all on the field wit no regrets. Africa is another Planet. U see the finish-line, and THEY make sure u don't get there.
Although it was in a different competition, Graham Zusi and his national side were more fortunate in their weekend game as they beat Antigua and Barbuda 2-1. While both of USA's goals came from former Sporting KC striker Eddie Johnson, more notable was Zusi's first ever international assist for the US. With the win the United States maintain their first place tie with Guatemala at the top of Group A in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. Seeing as the two sides meet at LiveStrong Sporting Park on Tuesday Oct. 16, a positive result for the US would see them through to the fourth and final round of the competition. In fact, even a loss could potentially see the USMNT through if Jamaica aren't able to put at least four past Antigua and Barbuda.
Kamara and Zusi, have each seen a huge amount of success in recent times with their international teams. Kei recorded his first two goals with the Leone Stars over the summer while Graham has received five caps over the past 10 months for the USMNT, a huge feat for a player that only started four games in the entirety of the 2010 season for Sporting KC.