MLS Moves: Matt Besler headed to Austin FC after 12 seasons in Kansas City

After 12 seasons with his hometown team, Sporting KC, Matt Besler has signed as an MLS free agent with expansion Austin FC.

Besler, 33, won one MLS Cup and three U.S. Open Cup titles with Sporting KC. He lost his starting job late in the 2020 season and played just 10 games, the fewest in his 12 MLS seasons.

He earned 47 caps for the USA, starting all four games at the 2014 World Cup and winning two Gold Cup titles. He was MLS Defender of the Year in 2012 and was named to the MLS Best XI in 2012 and 2013.

Austin FC sporting director Claudio Reyna: “We are pleased to add a proven defender to the squad that fits the profile we are looking for in a player. Matt’s unique blend of  leadership and competitive experience is valuable combination of strengths, and we are excited to have him continue his career in Austin.”

Besler is Austin FC's fifth free agent signing after Diego Fagundez (New England), Hector Jimenez (Columbus), Brad Stuver (NYCFC) and Andrew Tarbell (Columbus).

Austin FC Roster:
Goalkeepers (3): Brady Scott (Nashville SC), Brad Stuver (NYCFC), Andrew Tarbell (Columbus Crew).
Defenders (5): Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Julio Cascante (Portland Timbers), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes),  Jhohan Romana (Guarani, Paraguay), Ben Sweat (Inter Miami).
Midfielders (5): Diego Fagundez (New England Revolution), Hector Jimenez (Columbus Crew), Alex Ring (NYCFC), Ulises Segura (D.C. United), Jared Stroud (NY Red Bulls).
Forwards (3): Cecilio Dominguez (Independiente, Argentina), Jon Gallagher (Atlanta United), Rodney Redes (Guarani, Paraguay).
Also: Danny Hoesen (rights acquired from San Jose Earthquakes in Expansion Draft, opted out of Re-Entry Draft).
Re-Entry-Process: Joe Corona (Houston Dynamo).
Traded: Kamal Miller (Montreal Impact).
2 comments about "MLS Moves: Matt Besler headed to Austin FC after 12 seasons in Kansas City".
  1. Ben Myers, January 7, 2021 at 11:14 a.m.

    Living in the Boston area and having seen Diego Fagundez up close playing on his Leominster town soccer team as U-13, it is clear to me that a one-time prodigy has been victimized by the dreadful and penny-pinching stewardship of the Kraft family ownership of the Revs.  Until Bruce Arena's arrival, coaches have come and gone through a revolving door.  The team has nearly always been near the bottom of MLS in the average salary paid to its players.  There has been precious little development of players already on the team, given the oscillation between team formations and coaching philosophies over the years.  In an unfortunate way, Fagundez became the victim of his own loyalty to the team, and then Arena decided he had no use for Fagundez.

    I wish Diego Fagundez all the best with Austin FC under the experinced direction of Claudio Reyna, and I hope he thrives in Austin..

  2. humble 1, January 10, 2021 at 4:14 a.m.

    Nice comments on Fagundez Mr. Ben.  I did not realize until reading this peice he'd landed in Austin.  That caught my eye because I've got Uruguayan connections and we always followed Diegito. My son got a nice picture with him in Phily when he was with the Uruguayan national team in 2016.  Now he's in Austin along with Besler.  He's a futbol player.  Claudio and co. will put him in the right situation.  On paper Austin making some really clever free-agent signings pickling over MLS has-beens and bench warmers.  Looks like they are laying strong foundation.  City of Austin, TX is an easy sell.  Nice stadium being built.  No income tax.  Legend Rena in the drivers seat.  Heck even Elon Musk is building a home there and maybe moving his company.  Not a bad place to be.  Best of luck to Diegito and Besler! 

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