Matt Besler

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Matt Besler
MattBesler 07JUL2012.jpg
Personal information
Full name Matthew Scott Besler[1]
Date of birth (1987-02-11) February 11, 1987 (age 27)
Place of birth Overland Park, Kansas, United States
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Sporting Kansas City
Number 5
Youth career
2001–2005 KCFC Alliance
2005–2008 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009– Sporting Kansas City 137 (2)
National team
2006 United States U20 1 (0)
2013– United States 21 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 July 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 3 July 2014

Matthew Scott Besler (born February 11, 1987) is an American soccer player who currently plays for Sporting Kansas City in Major League Soccer. Besler is also a mainstay on the United States Men's National Team as a left-sided central defender.

Career[edit]

College and youth[edit]

Besler was a four-year All-Conference player at Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, Kansas. He led Blue Valley West to the Kansas 5A State Championship as a senior, scoring 23 goals with 19 assists, and holds the season and career marks in total points (124), goals (40) and assists (44) at Blue Valley West. He was also a member of the KCFC Alliance club team and a key member of the Region II Olympic Developmental Program (ODP) which competed in the 2004 ESP All-Star game.

Besler played college soccer at the University of Notre Dame, playing in 90 games (73 starts) and scoring 5 goals during his college career. He received All-American and Academic All-American honors as a senior, was named the NSCAA 2008 Senior College Men's Scholar All-America Player of the Year, and was named to the All Big East Team 3 times. He helped Notre Dame gain 4 straight berths in the NCAA championship, including the program's first two trips to the quarterfinals in 2006 and 2007.

Professional[edit]

Besler was drafted in the first round (8th overall) in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by the Kansas City Wizards. He made his professional debut on March 28, 2009, as an 87th-minute substitute during a 2–1 loss at the Colorado Rapids.[2] He scored his first professional goal on March 26, 2011, in a 3–2 loss to the Chicago Fire.[3] On July 10, 2011, Besler was added to the 2011 MLS All-Star team via the fan text message vote.[4]

U.S. Men's National teammates Michael Bradley & Matt Besler battle each other with their respective clubs in the 2013 Major League All Star game.

In 2012, Besler anchored the top defense in MLS with Sporting Kansas City and went on to help the club win the U.S. Open Cup by converting his attempt after the game against the Seattle Sounders went into penalty kicks. He also was named 2012 MLS Defender of the Year and named to MLS Best XI.[5]

On December 12, 2012, Besler re-signed with Sporting Kansas City on a three-year deal, passing up trial offers from Queens Park Rangers, Southampton and Birmingham City.[6][7]

Besler was voted into the 2013 All-Star Fan XI.[8]

International[edit]

Besler has become the regular starting left-center back for the United States under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. He has been rated the top performer[9] during the 2014 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying matches.

Besler made his debut for United States on January 29, 2013 in a friendly match against Canada. Previously, on August 23, 2012, Besler was called up to the United States squad by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for a friendly against Mexico, but he didn't feature in the match.

On March 26, 2013, Besler made his first World Cup qualifying appearance in a 0–0 draw at Mexico. On June 2, Besler started as the United States defeated Germany 4-3 in an International Friendly played at RFK Stadium. Subsequently, Besler started in the World Cup Qualifying wins versus Jamaica, Panama, and Honduras.

After being left off of the initial roster for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup so that the team could evaluate other players, Besler was added to strengthen the squad after the United States qualified for the knockout round.[10]

Besler was selected for US Men's 23-man roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He started all three games of the group stage and their Round of 16 game, helping the US make it through the group stage for consecutive World Cups. Following his strong performance in the World Cup, several European outfits placed offers and expressed interest in signing Besler, including Sunderland, Fulham and Freiburg. Besler reportedly declined the offers to stay in Kansas City.

Personal[edit]

Besler is known throughout his hometown of Kansas City for his willingness to give back to the community. On March 1, 2012, Besler joined forces with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) during the months of March, April and May for the Man of the Year campaign, raising funds for blood cancer research.[11] In April 2012, Matt was named W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the month by Major League Soccer.[12] Matt is a fan of his hometown Kansas City Chiefs and Royals. On July 5, 2013, Matt threw out the first pitch before the Kansas City Royals vs. Oakland Athletics baseball game.[13] His younger brother, Nick, currently plays college soccer for the 2013 NCAA champions University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish of the Atlantic Coast Conference. He is currently represented by US & Asia based agency, Libero Sports LLC [14]

Besler is Catholic. He was raised in an religious family; his dad was Catholic and his mom converted from Methodism. Besler regularly attends Church and is known to pray the rosary before each game. His favorite religious figures are Saint Christopher and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.[15][16]

Honors[edit]

United States[edit]

Sporting Kansas City[edit]

Individual[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 11 June 2014. p. 32. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  2. ^ http://kc.wizards.mlsnet.com/scoreboard/game.jsp?match=03282009_KCCOL
  3. ^ Fire outlast Kansas City after Bravo sees red
  4. ^ Kurt Austin (2011-07-10). "Matt Besler voted 2011 MLS All-Star | Sporting Kansas City". Sportingkc.com. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  5. ^ "Matt Besler - 2012 Defender of the Year". MLSsoccer.com. 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  6. ^ "QPR and Southampton set to battle for American star defender Matt Besler | The Sun |Sport|Football". The Sun. 2012-12-05. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  7. ^ "Sporting Kansas City hero Matt Besler's breakout blur, and why he's staying in MLS". MLSsoccer.com. 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  8. ^ "All-Star: Tim Cahill, Robbie Keane, DeAndre Yedlin added to gameday roster; Landon Donovan left off". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  9. ^ June 17th, 2013 7:42PM (2013-06-17). "Besler leads player ratings through Day 5 06/17/2013". SoccerAmerica. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  10. ^ "Gold Cup: Omar Gonzalez, Alan Gordon, Matt Besler, Eddie Johnson added to USMNT roster". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "Matt Besler up for Man of the Year | Sporting Kansas City". Sportingkc.com. 2012-03-02. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  12. ^ Steve Brisendine (2012-04-09). "Sporting's Besler named W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian for April". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  13. ^ "Besler & Zusi Throw First Pitch at Royals Game". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  14. ^ Libero Sports. Libero Sports http://www.liberosports.com |url= missing title (help). 
  15. ^ "Major League Soccer Player Keeps His Trust in God". National Catholic Register. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  16. ^ Brian Kelly (21 November 2011). "Pro Soccer Star Prays Rosary Before Every Game". catholicism.org. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  17. ^ Wiebe, Andrew. "Sporting KC's Besler named 2012 Defender of the Year". MLS Soccer. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "Matt Besler named MLS Breakout Player of the Year | Sporting Kansas City". Sportingkc.com. 2012-12-21. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  19. ^ "MLS reveals 2012 Best XI, headlined by Sporting KC quartet". MLSsoccer.com. 2012-11-26. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Denmark Jimmy Nielsen
Sporting Kansas City captain
2014-present
Succeeded by
incumbant