July 18, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Matt Besler continues to make a name for himself in the professional and international ranks. The former University of Notre Dame All-American has been named an MLS All-Star for the second time and he also has been added to the United States CONCACAF Gold Cup roster for the knockout round.
Besler, a Sporting Kansas City central defender, was selected to the Fan XI for the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star game. The Fan XI received the most votes at their respective positions from combined fan voting on three platforms - online at MLSsoccer.com, via text message, and via Twitter. The MLS All-Stars will play host to Italy's AS Roma July 31 at Besler's home stadium, Sporting Park. The match is slated for 9 p.m. (ET) and can be seen live on ESPN2.
This marks the third straight season that a former Fighting Irish player has been tapped as an MLS All-Star. Besler received his first nod in 2011, while Justin Morrow, a defender for the San Jose Earthquakes, was an all-star last season.
Besler, the 2012 MLS Defender of the Year, will temporarily step away from his Sporting KC duties to join the U.S. Senior National Team for the remainder of the Gold Cup. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann made four changes to the 23-player Gold Cup roster. Per tournament regulations, teams had the opportunity to make up to four changes to the roster in the 24 hours following the completion of the group phase. The U.S. won Group C with a 3-0 mark and will face El Salvador Sunday in the quarterfinals at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. The game can be seen live on Fox at 3:30 p.m. (ET).
Besler is the first former Fighting Irish player named to a Gold Cup roster. However, this will not be his first significant action for the U.S. The 2009 Notre Dame graduate 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 seven total caps with the Senior National Team and the U.S. is 4-0-2 with Besler in the starting lineup.
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.
2013 MLS ALL-STAR ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS: Raúl Fernández (FC Dallas), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS: Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Patrice Bernier (Montreal Impact), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Will Johnson (Portland Timbers), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS: Marco Di Vaio (Montreal Impact), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Camilo Sanvezzo (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
2013 UNITED STATES GOLD CUP ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Orozco Fiscal (Puebla), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Helsinborg), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), Brek Shea (Stoke City), Jose Torres (Tigres)
FORWARDS: Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)