POWERED BY

MLS- Sporting Kansas City

BREAKING-Besler re-signs with Sporting KC (UPDATED)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

Sporting Kansas City lost one key player in the off-season when Roger Espinoza made his long-rumored move to English Premier League side Wigan, but Sporting KC has succeeded in keeping another important player home.

Sporting KC has re-signed 2012 MLS Defender of the Year Matt Besler to a new four-year contract, sources confirmed to SBI on Wednesday. (UPDATE- Sporting KC confirmed the signing on Wednesday morning.)

Besler had offers on the table from English clubs Queens Park Rangers and Birmingham City, as well as Belgian side Gent, but ultimately decided to stay with his hometown team, where he has spent the past four seasons.

“Kansas City is my home. This organization is fantastic, I love all my teammates and the fans are the best around,” Besler said in a team-issued statement. “My goal to help bring championships to Kansas City has never wavered and I am ecstatic to re-sign with the club. I promise to continue to work hard and serve this team and community through my actions on and off the field.”

The 25-year-old defender started 30 of 34 regular season matches for Sporting KC, leading a defense that finished as the best in the league. Besler’s leadership in central defense helped Sporting KC win the 2012 U.S. Open Cup and helped the team finish in first place in the Eastern Conference during the regular season.

Besler’s play in 2012 also drew the attention of the U.S. Men’s National Team, earning call-ups to training camps, though he is still awaiting his first national team cap.

Re-signing Besler is another major off-season accomplishment for Sporting KC, which traded for U.S. World Cup veteran Benny Feilhaber on Wednesday as the replacement for Roger Espinoza, who left Sporting KC on a free transfer this winter. Losing Besler would have been a devastating blow, and now that he is re-signed, Sporting KC can turn their attention toward signing a forward.

“Matt (Besler) not only developed into a very important piece of our team, but also into a strong leadership role within the group,” Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes said in a team-issued statement. “Obviously this was a very high priority to get done and we are very, very pleased we were able to retain him as he is a key piece to our puzzle and a great asset for the successes of our team.”

What do you think of this development? Surprised Besler didn’t move to Europe? See Sporting KC being favorites to win it all in 2013?

Share your thoughts below.

105 comments
    • 2tone

      Yep. He does. KC is the best place fro him right now. If he shows well with the USMNT, and becomes a key figure for the Defense then he will have more offers from better teams in a few years.

      Like

      • RSLfan

        I have to agree with you completely. It is mixed results going over at your first opportunity. Another year or two here and wait for the right offer, not the first. QPR and Birmingham are not the best places for him.

        Like

  • Josh D

    Whoah! I didn’t read that KC got Feilhaber too! I wonder if they can keep Zusi too. Very creative attacking threat.

    Disappointed Besler resigned. I want him to have the drive to challenge himself at the top level, but I do admire him for staying.

    He could have earned a starting role with QPR though. They’re terrible!

    Like

    • ManUMan

      QPR are destined for relegation. Why sign a new contract for a bottom of the table PL side who will be relegated and may or may not be promoted again?

      Like

      • mike

        because you’ll make alot more currency than you would in KC…. I think guys like Ream and Cameron are making about 1 million a year

        Like

      • michael

        QPR have turned it around since hiring Redknapp but I think he should stay at KC were he has a starting spot with a real chance to impress and make the world cup squad.

        Like

  • A Trizzle

    ^^Yeah i’d really like to see him push himself at the top level by becoming a part of the terrible QPR team. Good Idea.

    Like

  • mo

    “Besler had offers on the table” it can’t be true it looks like he had ‘offers’ for trials.

    Like

  • Dean Stell

    Not being a SKC fan, I would have liked to see him take on a bigger challenge. He’s shown what he can do against MLS strikers. Even if QPR is a crappy team that is going to get relegated, I’d still like to see what he could do against all the outstanding strikers in the EPL. I know you have to worry about guys getting cast adrift after their teams get relegated, but if he plays well for QPR, he’d be fine. If he doesn’t play well…..well….that’s another problem entirely.

    On the other hand, congrats to him. He’s a KC guy, right? I guess it’s understandable that he likes it there, probably has family in the area, etc.

    Like

  • ed - houston

    damn, not good for the other east teams, lol. he is starting to grow on me, but he really needs to take it to another level. we’ll see.

    Like

  • Todd Marsch

    I know the immediate reaction is usually that an MLS player is stupid for not making the move to Europe, but I can’t blame Besler if those were really the options on the table. QPR looks almost certain to be relegated; Birmingham isn’t likely to be promoted; Gent is a mediocre Belgian side. He’d almost certainly get paid more in Europe, but from a pure playing perspective, re-signing with one of the better MLS teams seems like the right move.

    Like

    • Lion4U

      only if he plays great again next year and gets NT capd and uses it to move to Europe. If i were him id head to BIrmingham. Good chance he might become starter plus at least 500K a year

      Like

      • Mike in Missouri

        We don’t know details on his new contract, but I’d be shocked if it was less than 250k. When you factor in less taxes here than what pro athletes get charged in England, not that big of a difference.

        Like

      • Josh D

        It is a HUGE difference. At QPR, he would have easily pulled over a million a year to start with.

        QPR aren’t a great side, but they have enough talent and now a good enough manager to get out of their hole. Plus, you have to start somewhere and QPR is at his level. Most of our players who jump to great teams end up riding the bench (Jozy, Adu, etc).

        Like

    • mo

      Todd what’s wrong with QPR? Call me stupid but I don’t believe he had offers on the table.It doesn’t make sens.

      Like

      • Todd Marsch

        It’s obviously not guaranteed to happen this way, but I was just thinking that Besler to QPR looks a lot like Ream to Bolton–good MLS defender going to an EPL team that looks very likely to go down. He might get some experience in the EPL, but then he’s in the Championship probably with a new manager, probably with some of the better players having left the team after the drop, etc. Is that situation really that much better than what he has in KC?

        Also, how would he have gotten a work permit? Not that this affects his choice, but it makes me think the English offers might be bogus.

        Like

  • Joel

    I am surprised he re-signed…he is 25 and with interest from those clubs, should have tested himself
    at another level, plus the money difference wouldnt hurt.

    Like

    • Matt

      Guys, a four year contract doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll play four more years with SKC. It’s a win-win for both sides: Besler gets guaranteed higher money and security to keep playing (and developing) while SKC (and MLS) now have the option of selling him to a European club in a few years at a profit. This does not at all mean we won’t possibly see Besler in Europe in the prime of his career. See: Geoff Cameron.

      Like

      • yikes

        knowing MLS they will hold him at gunpoint and demand 7million for him in summer 2015 when clubs like West Brom, Stuttgart,Catania say that they will pay no more than 3million. they always do that

        Like

  • Mike in Missouri

    All you guys are assuming that the Belgium league or the championship (of which QPR will be a part next year) are vastly superior leagues to MLS. That may not necessarily be the case. True, Besler, could have made more money, but by the time you play for your hometown team, pay a lot lower taxes than he would have in Europe, etc. it’s a wash.

    Besides, this doesn’t mean Besler won’t move. Just means SKC gets compensated if he does.

    Like

    • Friedel vs Lloris

      Yes they are superior to MLS. Salary wise definitely. A crappy 70 K a year MLS defender could make three times that in Belgium. MLS is arguably on level of a Championship/League 1 hybrid. Improving obviously but dont lose sleep over comparisons

      Like

      • Kosh

        Where do you guys come up with this stuff??

        OK, I’ll play…so a guy making $70 K in MLS signs this wonderful 3x contract you’re talking about. He’s now at $210 K (or maybe even a cool $250) now hit ’em up with a sweet 60% tax rate…well at least he’s playing in a so called “better” league. I mean he’s got that going for him.

        Like

      • nato

        Belgium is a top 12 league. French, Italian and now English clubs heavily scout Belgium. Yes even crappy players in MLS make way more in Europe. MLS underpays them. Europe overpays them

        Like

    • mo

      Developing in MLS? No.MLS is no better than Belgium league or the championship.
      Money yeah if that’s what he wants so he is done as a player.
      The best time for Besler is to move now on free transfer.

      Like

      • T-lover

        Scandinavia leagues are not better then MLS. Belgium is not really somewhere you want to be. Holland is a better league, but he had no offers from Holland nor Germany, so your point is mute.

        Like

      • T-lover

        No I meant to put “your point is on Mute, I was actually telling him to shut up. Didn’t see it to later.

        Like

  • Coy Beverton

    People are criticizing Besler for not moving abroad, but commend MLS for retaining one of its budding stars. This is a good move for the league’s sake, no? Keep Besler here at age 25, he’ll make the WC roster next-round, and then maybe ship abroad.

    Good to see MLS retaining quality players – turning corners here as a league for certain. Rather than serve as an automatic, preconceived feeder into the USMNT, the league, for once, was able to keep one of its own in his prime years. For that, I commend them.

    Like

  • DJ

    Aside from (likely) more money someplace in Europe, it makes sense why Besler re-upped. He’s playing on one of the most talented (and not too old) teams in MLS, he’s winning, he plays in front of many friends and family every home match, he’s getting USMNT experience, he’ll see a higher level of competition in the Champion’s League….

    … honestly, was there a “next level” for this particular player at this point in time? Seems like Besler is in the best spot for Besler. The only thing he’d really get at QPR or Birmingham is more money. If’s he’s fine making what he’s making, then this new contract makes a lot of sense.

    Like

  • maxq

    The list of USMNT prospects who make the move to Europe and then are never heard from again is long. Findley, Kenny Cooper, Buddle, Adu, Eddie Johnson, Landon in Germany, Tim Ream is being shoe horned into a defensive midfield role under a new coach, etc. etc. Sure, maybe it would work out, but it’s hardly the no-brainer most on here are making it out to be. MLS is at a point where a top player can stay put and not be disrespected for it.

    Like

    • Coy Beverton

      Agreed – people’s fascination with moving abroad from MLS – and moreso their belief that it is ALWAYS, ALWAYS for the best, no matter what – is simply befuddling.

      Instead of claiming MLS to be no better than the Belgian league…

      …maybe Besler’s happy in his hometown, making (now) probably 200K a year, being near his family in America, and playing a strong role in improving a league already well on the upswing. Ever think of that?

      Like

      • Vic

        He’s happy now. However, will he be happy in 10-20-30-40 years from now living on alot less money?

        Like

      • Mike in Missouri

        If you can’t survive on 200k+ a year as a single man and plan your financial future, there’s spending issues anyway. Besides, that’s his choice. If he’s happier with less money but being closer to family, more power to him. Money’s not the end of all things.

        Like

      • Coy Beverton

        Who are you to second guess his decision? Believe a well-educated kid from Notre Dame, playing close to his family and friends, can make his own decision perfectly fine – not sure who you (or anyone) thinks they are to criticize it?

        God you people are bizarre.

        Like

      • David

        Besler is a smart guy, he has a pre-med degree that he finished in only 3 years at Notre Dame.

        I think he’s going to do juuuuuust fine after soccer.

        Like

  • Dainja

    Normally i’m all about MLS players going overseas, but I love this decision. I think he needs one year or two more being a top-notch defender in the league before he moves overseas. I think you need to experience a slump or two before you go overseas so you know how to handle it and can recover (Monsieur Ream?). Plus hell…the guy is frickin FROM Kansas City??? Who can blame him for not wanting to ride this out a little longer and finally win something for your hometown team? He may never leave actually and I wouldn’t be shocked.

    Like

  • Kosh

    This must be that inferiority complex Europeans talk about when it comes to us Yanks and how we view our soccer. On the one hand we want MLS to be a good leauge and get younger strong talent but then find it incredulous that top MLS talent passes on mediocre (at best) European offers.

    Money isn’t everything. Plus the price tag you see isn’t always what players take home (especially if you are playing in a Scandanavian country) so MLS offers may not match up to the Euro price tags but perhaps take home (net) plays a bigger factors into the money side of things.

    Besler wants to play for the Nats. He said so himself and I am sure that factored into things in BIG way for him. He’s got the tools to make that happen and his coach believes in the league he plays in (MLS). So as in all things, it’s a call you have to make. Take the payday (if one can call it that) now and play on some crappy, relegation fodder, team (with no guarantee for playing time – yes, the notion of he’s good enough to start does not account for many, many things like bias, the players ability to settle in fast enough (especially on a relagation haunted team where time is a huge luxury) and other cultural roadblocks) or stay in MLS under JK eyes and fight your way into a National Team side – where if sucessful he can both play on a WC team and get a better Euro deal in just under 2 years.

    Going to Europe early is just as big a gamble – ask ream, Rodgers, and WC starter Findley. I am sure they are getting paid (and that may be what works for them in their lives right now – their live, their call) but they are in Nats obscurity (in some cases that may not be such a bad thing). Besler wants to be a Nat and has played the best card available to achieve that goal right now.

    I respect his call (and give him big ups for the strategy and I am rooting for him that it works out for him) and I am happy for it as MLS will not lose another bright star. I also like that MLS is trying to compete for talent. I dig t.

    Like

    • mo

      Findley piece of work what idiot put him on WC roster?

      Rogers crap good for solid MLS team

      Ream plays for Bolton

      Like

  • 2tone

    Great decision. I laugh at all of the Eurocentric comments on here. KC is still the best place for him at the moment. He is about to break into the National team, and the offers stated are from poor teams. Defenders develop later than any other field player. I could see him making the jump to Europe for a much better team in a couple of years. No need to jump at the first sign of an interested European team. Seriously the Belgian league isn’t great thats not a more challenging league than MLS. One could argue that the Championship isn’t more challenging either.

    Like

      • T-lover

        Besler is no second Marshall, I think people forget when Cameron played his first game for Stoke, he didn’t even practice. So it says how much Cameron develop in MLS, and Zusi is a great example to Besler.

        Like

  • Andrew

    Good sign for the league as well, this is how you up the quality, by keeping hold of your best players.

    Like

    • Friedel vs Lloris

      well if they reward such talent. PAy the players what thy deserve. Minimum pay should be 100k and nothing less

      Like

      • Kosh

        It’s always easy to spend other people’s money.

        What is “fair” and “deserved” and on what criteria are your basing your defnitions?

        MLS players make less than other leagues in the US – yes, a fact. But can we say the rates are that bad for a league that is only a few years old? Counld it get better? Sure, everyone wants to make some green. But the model is in place for a reason and so far that reason is solidly justified by the resulting success of the league.

        Soccer is a global game, a global market, if the players don’t like MLS’ prices they can go shop somewhere else.

        I would like our base salaries to go up more as it would attarck more talent but considering other factors I think MLS is going about things the right way. I am not a fan of arbitrary base pay calls just because they “feel” right.

        Plus MLS has guaranteed contracts and guys get paid in this league. I know there are many teams out there with inflated wage bills where guys don’t get paid, and that includes star players. Now think of what that means to tyhe minnow on the team – yep, you have a million dollar contract…on paper.

        Like

      • mo

        agreed with F&L but one more thing MLS need to spend more money on development youth players have good academies and reserve teams.

        Like

      • Eric

        SKC has one of the top developmental programs in the country. We already have a homegrown player on the roster (Kempin- GK) with many more coming up. SKC Academy is huge, with thousands of players on dozens of clubs across the plains states, all fully funded.

        http://www.sportingkc.com/academy

        Like

      • Mike in Missouri

        it’s still in its infancy. Takes a while to get a impactful pro soccer player out of it.

        Like

      • beachbum

        you’re telling me that SKC as a new organization and building its roots have got nothing by having an academy touch the families of that many in the fan base at such a personal family level regionally?

        we disagree

        Like

      • T-lover

        Yeah tell that to Zusi. Or Cameron, who didn’t even practice, before he played his first game for Stoke. Mo you sound like a idiot.

        Like

  • THomas

    Wow…the day has come where a rising star stays in MLS rather than moving to Europe. That’s progress right?

    Like

    • Shampoo

      New Era! Create the environment that makes players want to stick around like SKC has or start losing to teams like SKC. (Smart, Stable management, world class facilities and environment). Now lets see if they can win S.S., CCL, or MLS Cup with this lineup and depth. Depth at forward in days to come most likely. It appears Vermes and Heineman aren’t playing around.

      Like

  • Gnarls

    I highly doubt he had genuine offers from QPR and Birmingham. He may have been invited to trial, but offers? Someone please link me with an article if that’s the case.

    Like

    • Dick Tracy

      Claudio Bieler to SKC. Sounds about right.

      Peter Vermes was said to be on a scouting trip in South America a week or so ago.

      So, there is his technically-gifted striker..

      Big day for Sporting!

      Now, when does Caleb Porter pry Teal Bunbury from SKC??

      Like

  • David s.

    One thing some of the commentators don’t get is that the US, unlike anywhere else, produces as many Matt Beslers as Eddie Johnsons. That is to say, Matt Besler, with a bachelor’s degree (pre-med) from Notre Dame he earned in 3.5 years, and a Senior College Men’s Scholar All-America Player of the Year award on his resume, doesn’t have to chase every last dollar the way someone who comes from nothing and with no degree does. Matt Besler has professional options, now and later, and quality of life is obviously very important to him. But then folks love to second guess other people’s lives, even by-any-reasonable-measure successful ones.

    Like

    • Thebumswillalwayslose

      He’s a smart guy, I’d imagine he explored his options thoroughly and figured this was what was best for him. Would be interesting to hear how realistic QPR and Birmingham really were as destinations. Seems like he’d have a ton of hoops to jump through to get around work permit issues since he’s never been a part of the US National Team set up, save for one call up to a friendly in which he didn’t appear.

      Staying in KC does make a lot of sense – solid money, hometown team, great stadium and fanbase. The team is set up to make a multi-year run at MLS cup, he’s guaranteed playing time unless he gets hurt and that should keep him on Klinsmann’s radar for the National Team. All in all, good move I think.

      Like

  • yikes

    Besler needs to be in Europe. in 1-2 yeara. His job is to get better and join a top 5league and challenge for a NT spot. Not develop MLS. Thats the commissioner jobs.

    Like

  • mack

    people that live in new york or los angeles might not understand this but 200k in kansas city goes a long way
    Op

    Like

  • A

    Love this “mo” person just rolling down the thread telling everyone that the entire story is made up and HE knows the truth.

    Like

  • matt

    the reason why Besler is higher on the nats totem poll than Tim Ream is pure and simple. Playing time. The best thing a fringe player can do to earn more call ups is play. Sitting on a bench helps nobobdy. Just ask Eddie Johnson.

    Like

  • Nato

    Is BEsler really that good? Cameron/Gonzalez will get us through qualifying plus Boca, Goodson and Gooch for depth

    Like

  • Turd Bradley

    Gent, Birmingham City, and QPR all three have way too many unknowns. It would of been terrible to get over there and not play.

    He still has so much work to do before he plays for the nats in a meaningful game he must be playing games first and foremost. Also a big advantage is Vermes wants to see him play for the NATS and will make sure he has every opportunity to do that. He goes to Europe they don’t give two shoots about his development and he is only seen as a guy chosen to play or not play based on results.

    Smart move but should be open to the move if it was the right fit. SKC will not allow MLS to screw with him if its the right fit.

    Like

  • matt

    and SKC just signed his back up. Welcome to the bench Mr. Opara, you will be summoned once Collin gets his yellow card suspensions.

    Like

  • MikeG

    I would have selected Gent. Anywhere from 3-5 years and he could have gotten Belgian citizenship. With EU citizenship it would have eliminated work permits and open future doors in ALL of Europe. Take notes youth of USA. Belgium is a good first or second contract. Get EU citizenship. Oguchi Onyewu has a Belgian Passport/citizenship. Just saying.

    Like

  • Brit

    I think everyone saying he should have signed with QPR or Birmingham needs to remember how difficult it is to get a work permit in England. Most of the US players in the EPL have well over 50 caps. It would not have been a smart gamble for Besler to try and fail to gain a permit when he could resign with his hometown team and have a lot more exposure to the national team. It’s the move that is best for him right now.

    Like

Add your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More from SBI Soccer

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,182 other followers