Matt Besler with the United States Men's National Team
|Date of birth||February 11, 1987|
|Place of birth||Overland Park, Kansas, United States|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Current club||Sporting Kansas City|
|2005–2008||Notre Dame Fighting Irish|
|2009–||Sporting Kansas City||125||(2)|
|2006||United States U20||1||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 23, 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Matt Besler (born February 11, 1987 in Overland Park, Kansas) 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.
College and youth
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 2 trips to the quarterfinals in 2006 and 2007.
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 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. He scored his first professional goal on March 26, 2011, in a 3–2 loss to the Chicago Fire. On July 10, 2011, Besler was added to the 2011 MLS All-Star team via the fan text message vote.
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.
Besler was voted into the 2013 All-Star Fan XI.
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 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.
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. In April 2012, Matt was named W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the month by Major League Soccer. 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. His younger brother, Nick, currently plays college soccer for the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish of the Atlantic Coast Conference
Sporting Kansas City
- MLS Defender of the Year: 2012
- MLS Breakout Player of the Year: 2012
- MLS Best XI: 2012
- MLS All-Star: 2011, 2013
- Sporting Kansas City Defensive Player of the Year: 2011
- Fire outlast Kansas City after Bravo sees red
- "All-Star: Tim Cahill, Robbie Keane, DeAndre Yedlin added to gameday roster; Landon Donovan left off". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- "Gold Cup: Omar Gonzalez, Alan Gordon, Matt Besler, Eddie Johnson added to USMNT roster". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
- Wiebe, Andrew. "Sporting KC's Besler named 2012 Defender of the Year". MLS Soccer. Retrieved 20 November 2012.