July 24, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - For the fourth consecutive season the University of Notre Dame men's soccer program will be represented on the MLS All-Star Team as former All-American and current Sporting Kansas City central defender Matt Besler ('09) earned his third all-star nod in the last four seasons.
The MLS All-Stars will take on Bayern Munich Aug. 6 at Providence Park in Portland, Ore. The match can be seen on ESPN2 at 9:30 p.m. (ET).
Besler made his first all-star appearance in 2011 and was part of the MLS squad that fell to Manchester United, 4-0. In 2012, former Fighting Irish standout Justin Morrow ('10) started at left back for the MLS All-Star Team, which topped Chelsea 3-2. Last season, Besler started the all-star game and the MLS squad dropped a 3-1 decision to A.S. Roma.
Besler won't be the only Fighting Irish alum taking part in all-star festivities this season as Harrison Shipp ('14) will compete in the inaugural Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game. The contest will take place Aug. 4 at Providence Park and will showcase 20 of the league's top Homegrown players as they take on the Portland Timbers Under-23 squad. The match will be streamed live at 10 p.m. (ET) on WatchESPN and MLSsoccer.com. Shipp, who captained Notre Dame to its first national title in December, signed with the Fire in January and leads the squad in goals (6) and assists (5).
While Shipp is making a bid for rookie-of-the-year honors, Dillon Powers ('13), the reigning MLS Rookie of the Year, has avoided a sophomore slump. The former Fighting Irish midfielder has four goals and five assists and has been named to the MLS Team of the Week four times this season. Besler, a starter for the U.S. National Team in all four FIFA World Cup matches, and Shipp both have two appearances on the MLS Team of the Week this season, while Morrow has one.
That quartet of recent Fighting Irish stars is among 10 former Notre Dame players currently on an MLS roster. In all, there are 15 former Fighting Irish players competing professionally.
(as of games played on July 23 ... numbers in parenthesis indicates years played at Notre Dame)
Matt Besler (2005-08)
Sporting Kansas City Defender
Sixth season with Sporting KC ... selected as a MLS All-Star for the third time in the last four seasons ... has started all 12 matches he's played ... one assist ... has appeared on the MLS Team of the Week twice (5/5 & 7/14) ... Sporting, the defending MLS champion, currently is in first place in the Eastern Conference with a 10-5-5 record ... recently signed a long-term Designated Player contract with Sporting ... has been a major force with the United States Men's National Team ... started all four matches for the U.S. at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil ... the U.S. went 1-1-1 in group play and advanced to the Round of 16 before falling to Belgium, 2-1 ... has 21 total caps with the U.S. (all since January of 2013) and the team is 13-3-4 with him in the starting lineup.
Jeb Brovsky (2007-10)
New York City FC Defender (currently on loan to Strømsgodset in Norway)
In his fourth season in the MLS ... started seven games this season with the Montreal Impact before being traded to New York City F.C., which will begin play starting in the 2015 season ... recently went on loan to Strømsgodset in Norway.
Bio Page (New York City FC)
Bio Page (Strømsgodset)
Bright Dike (2005-09)
Toronto FC Forward
In his second season in Toronto and fourth season overall in the MLS ... has not played in a match this season while recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon, which occurred in February ... Toronto currently is in third place in the Eastern Conference with a 7-5-5 record ... prior to his injury, he spent time with the Nigerian Senior National Team during portions of its qualifying schedule for the FIFA World Cup.
Ryan Finley (2011-12)
Chivas USA Forward
In his second season in the MLS ... traded from Columbus Crew to Chivas USA on May 8 ... has played in seven matches, including one start, with Chivas ... Chivas currently is 6-8-5 and in eighth place in the Western Conference.
Aaron Maund (2008-11)
Real Salt Lake Defender
Second season with Real Salt Lake and third season overall in the MLS ... has started all four games that he's played this season ... Real Salt Lake currently is 7-4-8 and in third place in the Western Conference.
Ryan Miller (2003-07)
Portland Timbers Defender
Second season with Portland and fifth season in the MLS (spent four seasons playing in Sweden) ... an injury has kept him off the field this season ... Portland has a 5-6-9 record, which is good for seventh place in the Western Conference.
Justin Morrow (2006-09)
Toronto FC Defender
In his first season with Toronto FC and fifth season overall in the MLS ... traded from San Jose to Toronto on Dec. 16, 2013 ... has started 16 of the 17 matches he's played in this season ... two assists ... named to the MLS Team of the Week on April 7 ... Toronto currently is 7-5-5 and in third place in the Eastern Conference.
Dillon Powers (2009-12)
Colorado Rapids Midfielder
In his second season in the MLS (both with Colorado) ... the reigning MLS Rookie of the Year has started 15 of the 17 games he's played in this season ... has tallied four goals and five assists ... has been selected to the MLS Team of the Week four times this season (3/24, 5/27, 6/30, 7/14) ... the Rapids currently are 7-6-6 and in fifth place in the Western Conference.
Harrison Shipp (2010-13)
Chicago Fire Forward
Having a standout rookie season with the Fire ... has earned a start in 17 of the 18 matches he's played ... team co-leader in goals (6) and leads the squad in assists (5) ... has appeared on the MLS Team of the Week on two occasions (5/12 & 6/9) ... was signed by the Fire in January as a Homegrown Player ... will participate in the inaugural MLS Homegrown Game on Aug. 4 ... the Fire currently are 3-5-11 and in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Grant Van De Casteele (2009-13)
Colorado Rapids Defender
In his rookie campaign with the Rapids ... has not played in a match ... selected by Colorado in the first round (19th overall pick) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft ... the Rapids currently are 7-6-6 and in fifth place in the Western Conference.
UNITED SOCCER LEAGUES (USL) PRO
Bilal Duckett (2007-10)
Charlotte Eagles Defender
In his first season with Charlotte after signing with the club in February ... has played in 19 of the team's 20 matches this season ... Charlotte currently is 6-11-3 and in ninth place in the league standings.
Adam Mena (2008-12)
Charleston Battery Midfielder
In his first season with Charleston ... has played in 17 of the team's 18 matches ... has scored one goal ... Charleston currently is 4-8-6.
Steven Perry (2007-10)
Oklahoma City Energy Forward
In his first season with Oklahoma City ... has played in 19 of the team's 23 matches ... has nine points on three goals and three assists ... Oklahoma City currently is 6-8-5 and in eighth place in the league.
Michael Thomas (2006-09)
Oklahoma City Energy Midfielder
In his first season with Oklahoma City ... a team captain ... was named to the USL PRO Team of the Week on July 22 ... has played in 19 of the team's 23 games ... has compiled 10 points on four goals and two assists ... the four goals are the second-most on the team ... Oklahoma City currently is 6-8-5 and in eighth place in the league.
John Mousinho (2004)
Burton Albion FC Midfielder
In his first season with Burton Albion FC ... was on loan to Stevenage FC during the 2014 season ... made 16 appearances and scored one goal with Stevenage.