Hometown hero Matt Besler retires from soccer

Sporting KC

KANSAS CITY, KS – MARCH 16: Matt Besler #5 of Sporting Kansas City looks to pass the ball against the Chicago Fire at Sporting Park on March 16, 2013 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — After spending a year with Austin FC, former Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler is hanging up his cleats.

The Overland Park native posted a letter on social media announcing the news.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the experiences and relationships the game brought me. My career was made possible by the help of many other people (and a lot of luck),” Besler wrote.

Besler spent 12 seasons with his hometown club Sporting KC totaling 294 appearances and helping the squad win the 2013 MLS Cup and three U.S. Open Cup (2012, 2015, 2017) trophies.

In 2012, Besler was named the leagues Defender of the Year.

Besler tallied 47 appearances with the United States men’s national team.

Earlier this season, Besler made his return to Children’s Mercy Park as an opposing player and penned a letter to fans.

The former Kansas City captain held the record for the most appearances by an Sporting KC player up until this season when he was surpassed by former roommate and teammate Graham Zusi.

“Soccer will always be a part of my life and I can’t wait for the next adventure. I’m so excited to start a new challenge and look forward to approaching it with the same determination I had while playing,” Besler wrote.

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