Jun 13, 2014, 2:12 AM EDT
When I began in this position in the summer of 2013, one of the first one-on-one interviews I participated in was with Irish men’s soccer alum Matt Besler. Besler, a 2009 graduate of Notre Dame, was in the middle of his MLS season with Sporting KC and had just recently began to make his mark as a member of the United States Men’s National Team. After the interview (which you can find by clicking here), I researched the history of the men’s soccer program at Notre Dame and I began to understand the magnitude of the accomplishment that Besler had made by playing with the National Team and the possibilities he had in the future with the 2014 World Cup just a year away. Needless to say, I made it my duty to try to magnify the situation as much as possible and sent out 178 tweets (yes, I just counted) in an attempt to show people that what he was in the process of accomplishing was a first in Notre Dame history.
Fast-forward almost a year and we have just begun the 2014 World Cup. The young defender from Kansas is no longer “just” an Academic All-American, he was named captain of his club team after winning MLS Cup in 2013, is a member of the United States Men’s National Team roster for the World Cup and is slated to be among the Starting XI when the squad kicks off its first game on Monday (June 16th) against Ghana. All this from a kid who was nicknamed “Country Boy” while he was at Notre Dame.
Besler’s Social Rise
In an effort to show Besler’s meteoric rise, let’s take a look at his following on the popular social media site Twitter. According to a tweet I sent out back in July of 2013, just after I interviewed Besler, he had about 12,000 followers. Today, Besler’s account, @MBesler, has a follower account just south of 56,000.
— Aaron Horvath (@NDSportsBlogger) July 29, 2013
Besler At Notre Dame
In his time at Notre Dame, Besler was a quiet leader. While donning the blue and gold, he played in 90 matches, including 73 starts, from 2005-08 and netted five goals and seven assists. He earned first team All-America and first team Academic All-America honors as a senior. Besler was a three-time all-BIG EAST honoree and was named the 2008 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Besler’s Fourth Career Goal
Still not convinced that Besler is a big deal? Did I mention he was just in Rolling Stone? Yes, that Rolling Stone. (Click here to read the interview with Rolling Stone)
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