May 23, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Former University of Notre Dame All-American Matt Besler has been selected to the United States Men’s National Team 23-man roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Besler, a central defender, is the program’s first former player to be named to a World Cup Final roster.
The United States began preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on May 14 with a training camp at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. The United States will next play three matches as part of the team’s Send Off Series: Azerbaijan on May 27, Turkey on June 1 and Nigeria on June 7.
The team will arrive in Brazil on June 9 ahead of the 32-team tournament, to be held June 12 – July 13. Ranked 14th in the latest FIFA rankings, the U.S. was drawn in Group G of the 2014 FIFA World Cup alongside Germany (No. 2), Portugal (No. 3) and Ghana (No. 38).
Besler has made 14 appearances for the United States since debuting in January 2013, including six FIFA World Cup qualifiers and all three knockout round games en route to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup championship. He most recently appeared in the United States’ 2-2 draw against Mexico on April 2, and the U.S. is 9-1-3 with Besler in the starting lineup.
The Overland Park, Kan., native was named Sporting Kansas City’s captain prior to the 2014 season, his sixth as a professional after being selected eighth overall in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. Besler has appeared in 145 MLS matches (including postseason) in his career, earning MLS Best XI (2012, 2013), MLS All-Star (2011, 2013) and MLS Defender of the Year (2012) honors.
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 and first team Academic 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.
2014 FIFA WORLD CUP – U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (NÃƒÆ’Â¼rnberg), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia MÃƒÆ’Â¶nchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Portions of release courtesy of Kurt Austin at SportingKC.com