Jan. 11, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Former University of Notre Dame men’s soccer standouts Matt Besler (`09), Bright Dike (`09) and Justin Morrow (`10) have been making news on the international level.
Besler and Morrow were named to the 25-man U.S. Men’s National Team roster for an upcoming friendly versus Canada. The squad will train at the National Training Center in Carson, Calif., Jan. 7-27 before facing Canada Jan. 29 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas. The match is scheduled for 8 p.m. (CT) and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.
This is the second time Besler has been called into the U.S. Senior National Team camp. He was on the 23-man roster for the 1-0 victory over Mexico at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City back in August. This is the first call-up for Morrow. Notre Dame has never had a former player earn a cap with the U.S. Senior National Team.
Besler, a Sporting Kansas City central defender, was voted the 2012 MLS Defender of the Year. He started 30 of his 31 appearances and anchored a Sporting Kansas City defense that allowed just 27 goals in 34 MLS matches to lead all MLS teams with the fewest goals conceded. Besler was an MLS All-Star in 2011.
At Notre Dame, Besler played in 90 matches, including 73 starts, from 2005-08 and tallied five goals and seven assists. He earned first team All-America honors as a senior. Besler was a three-time all-BIG EAST honoree and was named the 2008 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Morrow currently plays in the MLS for the San Jose Earthquakes. He was the starting left back on the 2012 MLS All-Star squad that defeated Chelsea from the English Premier League, 3-2. Morrow started all 33 matches during the 2012 campaign and notched one goal and four assists for San Jose.
Morrow appeared in 89 career matches, including 64 starts, from 2006-09 at Notre Dame. He tallied 21 points on seven goals and seven assists with the Fighting Irish. Morrow earned second team all-BIG EAST honors as a senior.
Dike scored the equalizer for the Nigeria National Team in a 1-1 draw with Catalonia (Jan. 2). It was Dike’s second appearance (both starts) with the Nigeria squad. His debut came in a 3-1 victory over Venezuela in December. Dike is the first Notre Dame alum to score a goal for a men’s senior national team in international competition. Unfortunately, Dike just missed out on being named to the Nigeria roster for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Dike, whose parents were born in Nigeria, plays for the Portland Timbers in the MLS. He finished his second MLS season as one of the Timbers’ leading scorers, recording five goals in 12 games over the final half of the 2012 campaign. He has compiled six goals in 23 matches over his first two MLS seasons with the Timbers.
Dike, a native of Edmond, Okla., was a standout for the Fighting Irish from 2005-09. He tallied 27 goals and 12 assists in 89 career matches with the Irish and was named the 2009 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year.