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- DOB February 11, 1987
- Age 26
- Place of birth Overland Park, Kansas
- POSITION Defender
- HEIGHT 6'0"
- WEIGHT 170
- U.S. CAPS 11
- CLUB Sporting KC
- TWITTER @mbesler (15.2K followers)
- Current ASN 100 Rank 7
- Previous ASN 100 Rank 9
- ASN QUESTIONNAIRE Read now
Matt Besler plays for the hometown club he grew up watching. It's the type of tale movies are made from, but Sporting Kansas City's smart, solid centerback isn't done writing the script. In August 2012, he received his first call to the national team for the match in Mexico.
After graduating from Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, Kansas, Besler attended Notre Dame University. He finished school in three and a half years, earning a degree in psychology/pre-medicine along with a host of soccer awards, including All-American and Academic All-American selections.
Kansas City drafted Besler with the eighth pick of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, and he started 26 games his rookie season. He benefitted greatly from playing alongside veteran Jimmy Conrad, and his technique steadily improved. In 2011 Besler started 32 games and helped Sporting KC make it to the postseason. Another strong year in 2012, after which he was named his first MLS Best XI, led to Besler’s first-ever national team call-up—against Mexico in Estadio Azteca.
"I've been working hard to get the chance and it's a blessing, so I hope to make the very best of it," the defender said shortly after receiving the call from Jurgen Klinsmann. "It'll make it easier to have [Sporting KC teammate Graham Zusi] there; he's been there before. Obviously I know him very well, so hopefully he'll help ease the process for me."
Besler didn't appear in the match against Mexico, but he's clearly on the coach's radar. The 2012 MLS Defender of the Year will almost certainly get more chances. —NOAH DAVIS
Klinsmann on Besler:
"I’m not worried about having a couple younger players or even new players like Matt Besler or Steven Beitashour. They’ve proven their qualities over a long time in MLS and they’re doing extremely well. It’s a huge opportunity for those players that are coming to Mexico City now and also for us as a whole team to prove ourselves against a good side.” (August 2012)
Noteworthy ReadsBesler's Wild Week Ends with First-ever Call from Klinsmann (MLSsoccer.com)
Matt Besler Named MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian for April (LiberoSports.com)