Oct. 1, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” MLS side Sporting Kansas City, led by team captain and former Notre Dame All-American Matt Besler (’09), secured its third championship trophy since 2012 on Wednesday night to extend its reach as one of the top soccer clubs in the United States.
Sporting KC found a 65th minute equalizer from Krisztian Nemeth in a 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union in the final of the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, ultimately outlasting the Union 7-6 in a penalty kick shootout to claim its second U.S. Open Cup title in four years.
– Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) October 1, 2015
Besler, a four-time MLS All-Star and the 2013 Sporting KC Defender of the Year, played all 120 minutes of the U.S. Open Cup final. Philadelphia finished the contest with a 14-13 shot edge in the match, including an 8-6 edge in shots on goal, but a solid defensive effort from Sporting KC held the Union to its single first half goal. Besler himself calmly swept a promising Philadelphia cross out of the six-yard box in the 117th minute to send the match to a penalty shootout.
Sporting KC trailed in the best-of-five shootout 3-2 when Besler was called upon as the fourth taker for the visitors. The U.S. National Team veteran struck a calm left-footed shot into the upper right corner of the goal over the outstretched leap of Union goalkeeper John McCarthy to square the shootout at 3-all.
Jordi Quintilla eventually broke a 6-6 tie with a sharp left stab into the left corner to clinch the cup title for Sporting KC, which previously won the 2012 U.S. Open Cup and the 2013 MLS Cup in the last four years.
– Graham Zusi (@gzusi) October 1, 2015
Sporting KC’s victory came on the same field that Besler’s alma mater claimed its first national championship. Notre Dame defeated Maryland 2-1 on Dec. 15, 2013, to win the NCAA Championship at PPL Park. Nick Besler (’15), Matt’s brother and a first round pick of the Portland Timbers in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, provided the primary assist on the tying Irish goal in the 40th minute of the 2013 NCAA title match.
– U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) October 1, 2015
— Tony Jones, Athletics Communications Assistant