Aug. 13, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Former Notre Dame men’s soccer All-American Matt Besler has been named to the U.S. National Team’s 23-man roster for Wednesday’s friendly against Mexico at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. The match is scheduled for 8 p.m. (ET) and can be seen on ESPN2, ESPN3 and Univision.
Besler, a central defender, currently plays for Sporting Kansas City in Major League Soccer (MLS). This is his first call up to the national team. Besler is the second Fighting Irish alum to be named to the U.S. National Team. Ryan Miller, a 2008 Notre Dame graduate, was called into camp for a friendly versus Chile on Jan. 22, 2011. Miller did not appear in the contest.
“I’ve been working hard to get the chance and it’s a blessing, so I hope to make the very best of it,” Besler said to SportingKC.com. “It’ll make it easier to have (Sporting 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 has started 20 of the 21 matches he has played in this season for Sporting and has helped the team to a 13-7-4 record, which is good for first place in the Eastern Conference. Last season, he was named an MLS All-Star.
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 during his senior campaign. 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. The Overland Park, Kan., native was selected by Kansas City in the first round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.
U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER FOR FRIENDLY VS. MEXICO
GOALKEEPERS (3): Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steven Beithasour (San Jose Earthquakes), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim)
MIDFIELDERS (9): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)