Stalwart Sporting KC defender Matt Besler joins the Verde via free agency.
Rumored as Austin FC material as soon as he split from SKC, it became a reality Jan. 6. Matt made the most of his Austin FC intro — channeling another Matt (McConaughey), a Texas icon and a co-owner of the club, in a laugh out loud spoof of the actor’s Lincoln commercials.
Check out his video. It’d be a lot cooler if you did.
Reyna and the coaching staff obviously see a specific role Matt can play in the new club, both on and off the pitch.
“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,” commented Austin FC Sporting Director, Claudio Reyna. “We welcome Matt to Austin and look forward to his many contributions to the Club.”
Austin FC press release Jan. 6, 2021
In his prime at Kansas City, the 33-year-old former club captain was a linchpin on the defensive line, racking up 312 career appearances in 12 MLS seasons. He’s well-decorated as a five-time MLS All-Star, 2012 MLS Defender of the Year, and 2014 FIFA World Cup performer on the USMNT squad.
What does Austin FC get in Matt Besler
Many pundits outside Austin’s City Limits believe Besler’s best days are behind him.
For a new club like Austin FC, the signing may be more for his mind than his legs. Having seen it all in major league soccer, Matt can offer stability and direction in what will be a green (yes, I said it!) MLS squad when they first take the pitch together in 2021.
You can see how this roster is being built by Reyna and Wolff — former MLS club captains (in Ring and Besler) right down the defensive spine of the new team.
With only 10 appearances last year for Sporting KC, and declining minutes the past several years, Besler is not a guaranteed starting CB. I would love to be at St. David’s Performance Center in February to see Julio Cascante, Jhohan Romana, and Matt battle on the training pitch for the spot.
Finally, keep in mind this nugget from a recent ExtraTime podcast episode: while three center-backs provide ample depth for most MLS clubs, if things do go sideways, Austin FC does have TAM money to sign a bigger name CB.
Real Name: Matthew Scott Besler
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri
Nationality: United States
Matt Besler Career Stats
|Kansas City Wizards/Sporting KC||2009-20||312||3|