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For College And Country

May 22, 2014, 10:07 PM EST

Matt Besler - Photo Credit: Sporting KC Matt Besler - Photo Credit: Sporting KC

For the first time in program history, a former Notre Dame men’s soccer player was selected to the 23-man roster for the United States Men’s National Team ahead of the 2014 World Cup. It was announced on Thursday afternoon (almost a week earlier than most predicted) by USMNT manager Jürgen Klinsmann that 2009 Notre Dame graduate Matt Besler would be a member of the squad for this June’s events in Brazil.

Besler, the first student-athlete in Irish men’s soccer history to cop both first-team All-America and first-team Academic All-America honors during his career, is predicted to be a member of the starting XI along the United States’ backline. His technical skills set Besler apart from many of the members of the 23-man roster, giving him the inside track at the center back position.

Besler played in 90 games while at Notre Dame, starting 83, and tallied five goals in those contests.

Currently, the men’s soccer team (and Matt’s younger brother, Nick) is overseas on their foreign tour in Zimbabwe participating is a service/soccer trip with an organization called Grassroot Soccer. You can follow their travels by clicking here.

It’s ironic that the current squad is overseas right now, because in 2006, Besler took his foreign tour with the program. Where did they go? You guessed it … Brazil. That is some serious foreshadowing.

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Be sure to follow along as Besler makes Irish history this summer while playing for the Red, White and Blue.

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