Matt Besler is a no-nonsense defender doing the quiet work for club and country at every opportunity. The MLS veteran is strong in the tackle, but even better at reading the game and making sure he is in the right place at the right time. Besler was thrown in to the deep end by Jurgen Klinsmann, getting his first national team cap in Mexico City against the United States’ arch-rival to the south, and the defender, to his credit, was spot-on in doing his part to secure a goalless draw on the day.
The consistency that might have surprised some USA supporters would have in no way taken Sporting Kansas City supporters unawares. Besler is the defensive rock for a club that prides itself on winning every ball and harrying the opposition into costly mistakes. It was just this kind of assurance in the centre of defence that helped SKC to last year’s MLS league title.
Besler’s only real competitive tournament experience for the Stars and Stripes came last summer when he was called in to take part in Jurgen Klinsmann’s experimental side for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. His performance en route to the trophy in that tournament, among unfamiliar teammates, testified to the calm he imparts on a football pitch.