[MLS] Matt Besler
grew up in the Kansas City area rooting for the Kansas City Wizards. Now instead of sitting in stands on weekends, Besler takes to the
field as a starting defender for his favorite team. Get to know the 22-year-old in this profile by Soccer America's Bryan Alvarez that covers on and off-field experiences. MATT BESLER
(Kansas City Wizards) POSITION:
Overland Park, Kan. YOUTH CLUB:
KCFC Alliance COLLEGE:
Notre Dame STARTING OUT:
My parents signed me up for soccer
when I was 5 or 6 years old. It was the thing to do. I played rec soccer with my school. None of them had ever played before. EARLY SOCCER MEMORY:
When I was in a tournament,
I got to take a corner kick for us. I was about 7 years old. It might have been windy. I kicked it and went into the goal! FIRST CLEATS:
I'm not sure. I was the oldest and I
have two younger brothers. They had it worse than me. They got all my hand-me-downs. Mine were probably a used pair. I didn't start playing Premier until about 5th or 6th grade.
Adidas PredatorsOTHER SPORTS:
I played baseball up to high school. I also played basketball up to my sophomore year in high school. I injured my
ankle in basketball that year. I didn't want it to come in the way of soccer so I stopped playing.
Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas State Wildcats football
and Notre Dame football. FAVORITE PLAYER:
I idolized Michael Jordan growing up. I liked Barry Sanders, too. FAVORITE MOVIES:
"Remember the Titans."
Vince Vaughn FAVORITE ACTRESS:
Jennifer Anniston and Jessica Biel FAVORITE TV SHOW:
I'm still at the home I grew up in. Me and another teammate are looking for apartments. ROOKIE OF THE
I think it's the biggest individual award for a first year player. But, to be honest, I haven't thought about it too much. A lot of guys are making an impact. This year has a pretty
good class of players. I could see it going to someone whose team is doing the best. MLS EXPERIENCE:
It's gone well overall. When I came to the league, I didn't expect a lot
of playing time. I'm grateful for the starts and all the minutes. There have been a lot of ups and downs this year. I'm just trying to adjust. I try not to get too high or get too low.
I'd rate it as very good. Notre Dame is one of the better programs in the country, on and off the field. Coach Bobby Clark
does a good job making the
environment competitive and professional. Notre Dame did a good job preparing me for the pros. I'd rate it an 8 or 9. It would have been a 10 if we made a final or something. MOST
That's tough to say. Each coach offers something different. You take a bit from each coach. They've all helped me be the player that I am. My club coach, Gareth Hughes,
coached me for the longest amount of time. MEMORABLE COACHING ADVICE (from youth coach):
Gareth always told me to play as simple as you can. Coach Clark was big on enjoying
the game. I'm starting to take a lot from my new coach, Peter Vermes.
I like to get outside. I enjoy the weather. I like to lay by the pool, go fishing and
playing golf. MUSIC:
I like everything. Country is my go-to. READING:
I like to catch up on the newspaper. I'm a big sports section guy. I also like
Dan Brown books and best sellers. VACATION:
The best place I've been is Italy. I went to Rome and Milan. I like to ski. So, I like snow skiing in Colorado.
FAMOUS PEOPLE YOU'D INVITE TO DINNER:
Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Bill Gates.