Oct. 7, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Former Fighting Irish All-American and current Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler will be honored at halftime of Saturday’s Notre Dame-Connecticut match. The contest will kick off at noon (ET) at Alumni Stadium.
Besler played at Notre Dame from 2005-08. As a senior, he became the first player in program history to earn both first-team All-America and first-team Academic All-America honors in the same season. 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.
Besler helped the Irish to two regular-season BIG EAST titles and four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including trips to the quarterfinals in 2006 and 2007.
In July, Besler competed in the Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Star game against Manchester United at Red Bull Arena. He is the first MLS All-Star in program history. Besler has started all 30 matches this season for his Sporting Kansas City club, which currently resides in first place in the Eastern Conference.
Besler was selected by Kansas City eighth overall in the first round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. That is the highest any Notre Dame player has ever been picked in the MLS Draft.
The Notre Dame Athletics Department will present Besler with a photo collage in recognition for his success in the professional ranks. In addition, Besler will donate a game-worn jersey from Sporting Kanas City as well as a flag from the MLS All-Star Game to the Irish soccer team.
Besler’s younger brother, Nick, currently is a freshman on the Fighting Irish squad.