July 29, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team is coming off one of the top seasons in program history and that success has spilled over into the professional and international ranks. There currently are 17 former Fighting Irish players competing professionally, including 14 in Major League Soccer (MLS).
The MLS has reached its all-star break and for the third straight season a Notre Dame alum will be competing in the league’s all-star game as Sporting Kansas City central defender Matt Besler (’09) was selected as an MLS All-Star for the second time in the last three seasons. The MLS All-Stars will play host to Italy’s AS Roma Wednesday at Besler’s home stadium, Sporting Park. The match is slated for 9 p.m. (ET) and can be seen live on ESPN2. Sporting KC currently is in first place in the Western Conference.
Besler also is having a very successful run with the United States Senior National Team. He helped the squad capture the CONCACAF Gold Cup title on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Panama. Besler joined the team prior to the quarterfinals and helped the U.S. to three straight wins en route to the squad’s first Gold Cup crown since 2007.
Besler has been a key reason why the U.S. currently leads the Hexagonal standings with four matches remaining in qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Besler has played every minute in each of the last four qualifying matches and the U.S. has surrendered just one goal in that time. He has 10 total caps with the Senior National Team and the U.S. is 7-0-2 with Besler in the starting lineup.
Justin Morrow (`10) started alongside Besler in the U.S. backline during a friendly against Canada in January and they became the first Notre Dame alums to earn a cap with the Senior National Team. Morrow was an MLS All-Star last season and he is compiling another solid campaign with the San Jose Earthquakes. The defender has started 19 of 20 matches this season and has notched one goal and one assist.
After helping Notre Dame to the 2012 BIG EAST Championship title and the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Championship, Dillon Powers (`13) is having a successful rookie season with the Colorado Rapids, who currently are in second place in the Western Conference. The central midfielder has started 21 of the team’s 22 matches and has tallied four goals and four assists. Both offensive figures rank second on the squad. Powers is just one of two Colorado players to have seen time in every match this season.
Real Salt Lake, which features former Notre Dame standout Aaron Maund (`12), is leading the Western Conference, while Ryan Miller (`08), Bright Dike (`10) and the Portland Timbers are in third place. Jeb Brovsky (`11) and the Montreal Impact are currently third in the Eastern Conference.
Here is further information on all the former Fighting Irish players currently competing professionally (numbers in parenthesis indicates years played at Notre Dame):
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER (MLS)
Matt Besler (2005-08)
Sporting Kansas City – Defender
Fifth season with Sporting KC … MLS All-Star … has started all 15 matches that he has played … one assist … Sporting currently is in first place in the Eastern Conference with a 10-6-6 record … has spent a significant amount of time with the U.S. Senior National Team, helping the squad to the Gold Cup title and the team currently resides in first place of the Hexagonal with four games left in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup … has 10 total caps with the U.S. (all since January) and the team is 7-0-2 with him in the starting lineup.
Besler’s Sporting KC Bio
Jeb Brovsky (2007-10)
Montreal Impact – Defender
Second season with Montreal … has started 19 of the team’s 20 games … two assists … Montreal currently is in third place in the Eastern Conference with a 10-5-5 record.
Brovsky’s Montreal Impact Bio
Bright Dike (2005-09)
Portland Timbers – Forward
Third season with Portland … has not played in a match this season while recovering from a knee injury … the Timbers currently are in third place in the Western Conference with an 8-3-10 record … spent time with the Nigerian Senior National Team prior to injury … scored two goals for Nigeria during friendlies earlier this year.
Dike’s Portland Timbers Bio
Bilal Duckett (2007-10)
New England Revolution – Defender
Signed by the Revolution in February … a starter in the only game he has played in this season … New England is 8-7-6 and in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
Duckett’s New England Revolution Bio
Ryan Finley (2011-12)
Columbus Crew – Forward
Selected by Columbus in the first round of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft (9th overall selection) … has played in five games during his rookie season … Columbus is 6-10-5 and in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Finley’s Columbus Crew Bio
Brendan King (2008-11)
Chicago Fire – Midfielder
Acquired by the Fire prior to the season … has not played in a match this season … Chicago is 7-9-4 and in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
King’s Chicago Fire Bio
Greg Klazura (2007-11)
Vancouver Whitecaps – Defender
Second season with Vancouver … has appeared in two matches, including one start … Vancouver is 9-7-5 and in fifth place in the Western Conference.
Klazura’s Vancouver Whitecaps Bio
Aaron Maund (2008-11)
Real Salt Lake – Defender
Traded from Toronto FC to Real Salt Lake during the offseason … has started all three matches that he has played … Real Salt Lake is 11-7-4 and in first place in the Western Conference.
Maund’s Real Salt Lake Bio
Adam Mena (2008-12)
Vancouver Whitecaps – Midfielder
Selected by Vancouver in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft … has not played in a game this season due to injury … Vancouver is 9-7-5 and in fifth place in the Western Conference.
Ryan Miller (2003-07)
Portland Timbers – Defender
Joined Portland during the season … has played in five games, including four starts … Portland has an 8-3-10 record, which is good for third place in the Western Conference.
Miller’s Portland Timbers Bio
Justin Morrow (2006-09)
San Jose Earthquakes – Defender
In his fourth season with San Jose … a starter in 19 of the 20 matches that he has played … has notched one goal and one assist … the Earthquakes are 7-9-6 and in eighth place in the Western Conference … earned a cap with the U.S. Senior National Team in a friendly versus Canada on Jan. 29.
Morrow’s San Jose Earthquakes Bio
Dillon Powers (2009-12)
Colorado Rapids – Midfielder
Selected by Colorado in the first round of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft (11th overall pick) … has started 21 of the team’s 22 matches … four goals and four assists … the Rapids are in second place in the Western Conference with a 9-7-7 mark.
Powers’ Colorado Rapids Bio
Michael Rose (2008-12)
Vancouver Whitecaps – Midfielder
Picked by the Whitecaps in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft … has not played in a game this season due to injury … Vancouver is 9-7-5 and in fifth place in the Western Conference.
Michael Thomas (2006-09)
Toronto FC – Midfielder
Traded from Sporting KC to Toronto during the season … has played in one match for Toronto … Toronto is 3-10-8 and in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.
Thomas’ Toronto FC Bio
UNITED SOCCER LEAGUES (USL)
Steven Perry (2007-10)
Wilmington Hammerheads – Forward
Has played in 19 games … has scored four goals … Wilmington is 6-11-4 this season.
Perry’s Wilmington Hammerheads Bio
Philip Tuttle (2006-10)
Wilmington Hammerheads – Goalkeeper
Has a 3-7-0 record in goal … has made 18 saves and allowed 19 goals … possesses a 1.9 goals-against average … the Hammerheads are 6-11-4 overall this season.
Tuttle’s Wilmington Hammerheads Bio
John Mousinho (2004)
Preston North End – Midfielder
Mousinho’s Preston North End Bio