29 June 10:06 am

For this last Kevin Gray Awards Spotlight, all eyes turn toward Nick Besler, the 2011 Kevin Gray Male Youth Player of the Year. Since receiving the honor following his record-breaking career at Blue Valley West High School, Besler has enjoyed plenty of soccer success both at the University of Notre Dame and now with the Portland Timbers. A three-year starter while at Notre Dame, Besler certainly made an impact in the midfield for the Irish, notching spots on the All-ACC First Team and NCAA All-Tournament Team in 2013. Nick also served as team captain during his senior season, which only added to his already impressive soccer résumé. Despite all of these individual accolades, though, Besler believes that there is one team achievement that stands above the rest.

“The national championship I won my junior year is what I'm most proud of," Besler said of Notre Dame's victory over Maryland in the 2013 final. "While I have won individual awards as well, there is that feeling of accomplishing something together as a team that is much more rewarding. Winning a national championship is something that I will never forget."

The Irish won by a 2-1 scoreline and Besler assisted the goal that tied the game in the 40th minute. The following year, Notre Dame earned a #1 seed in the College Cup and advanced to the third round before falling 1-0 to eventual winners Virginia.

Although the team came up a bit short in 2014, Besler graduated from Notre Dame with his sights set on a professional soccer career—and rightly so. This past January, Nick was selected fifth overall by the Portland Timbers in the 2015 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, which made him the highest MLS draft pick in Notre Dame history. The previous owner of that distinction was Nick’s older brother, Matt -- the Sporting Kansas City team captain and World Cup veteran was selected eighth overall in 2009. Of his relationship with his brother, Nick says that “Matt has been a great role model for me…and the way he goes about his own career has been the thing that I've noticed the most.”

With regard to his time with the Timbers thus far, Nick pointed out that the main difference he has observed between college and professional soccer is the speed of play.

“Everything has to be quicker at this level,” he said, “[but] I feel like I have adjusted well to the new city and the new team.”

Looking ahead, Besler says that “my plan is to keep growing as a soccer player and continue to improve. Right now, I will continue to get minutes with [the Timbers’ USL developmental side] T2 and hopefully I will have an impact with the first team.”

Best of luck to Nick in the future! If all goes well, we at Sporting KC will look forward to potential Besler v. Besler match-ups whenever the Timbers come to town. Click here to read more about the Besler brothers’ “First Family” status within the Notre Dame men’s soccer program.

And, as always, be sure to keep up with our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for everything you need to know about the Sporting Club Network!

08 January 9:08 pm

The best part of every draft season is the numerous mock drafts that float around the internet. This phenomenon isn't limited to soccer, by any means. When the NFL Draft rolls around in April, the Kansas City Chiefs will likely have been projected to take 20-25 different players according to draft "experts."

So with the 2015 MLS SuperDraft a week away, rolled out their first Mock SuperDraft: Pre-Combine edition. The three experts doing the picking were MLS broadcaster Jonathan Yardley,'s Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle and contributor and college soccer enthusiast Nate Sulat.

All three have studied the college game in 2014 and have a good grasp of the prospects in this draft class. All three will be watching the players throughout the MLS Combine and will be updating their predictions based on player performances.

So which three players will Sporting KC take next Thursday? Let's take a look:

Jonathan Yardley
10: Otis Earle (LB) - UC Riverside
12: Dan Metzger (M) - Maryland
20: James Rogers (M/F) - New Mexico

Matthew Doyle
10: Nick Besler (M) - Notre Dame
12: Otis Earle (LB) - UC Riverside
20: James Rogers (M/F) - New Mexico

Nate Sulat
10: Nick Besler (M) - Notre Dame
12: Otis Earle (LB) - UC Riverside
20: Miguel Aguilar (F) - San Francisco

After reviewing the mock drafts, it's apparent that Yardley, Doyle and Sulat feel that Sporting KC needs three things: a left back, speed and another Besler. Click here to read their rationale for each pick.

So there you have it. The first Mock Draft is in the books. And if the experts are correct, Sporting KC could walk away with two players who have already signed MLS contracts. Guess we'll have to wait to see more.

What do you think SKC Nation? Do you like these projections? Is there a certain player/position you would like to see drafted? Let us know in the comments section below!

18 April 12:06 pm

Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer, along with Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Darren Mattocks, are the latest two Generation adidas graduates featured in's Generations video series. Dwyer is tied for the league lead with two game-winning goals in 2014 and ranks fifth among MLS shot takers with 19 attempts through five matches.

Generation adidas is a youth player development program that identifies and nurtures elite youth soccer talent in the United States to become future stars of MLS and U.S. Soccer. Athletes who participate in Generation adidas receive incentives and unprecedented opportunities to develop their game at the highest level.

Five current Sporting Kansas City players were selected in the MLS SuperDraft through the Generation adidas program:

Jacob Peterson (2006, No. 21 overall)
Chance Myers (2008, No. 1 overall)
Ike Opara (2010, No. 3 overall)
Dom Dwyer (2012, No. 16 overall)
Mikey Lopez (2013, No. 14 overall)

16 January 3:58 pm

Sporting Kansas City has selected St. Louis University's Adnan Gabeljic with the 38th overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. The forward was born in Yugoslavia but grew up in the St. Louis area where he earned several honors playing at Mehlville High School before playing four seasons for the Bilikens.

For more on Gabeljic, check out the highlight video below.

03 January 3:22 pm

With two weeks until the 2014 MLS SuperDraft,'s Jason Saghini revisits the age-old question: Does the SuperDraft matter?

The short answer is yes, and Saghini tells you why by using 2013 MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City as a perfect example of how a team can be constructed through the draft.

27 June 2:59 pm

If you haven't heard, Dom Dwyer is back in Kansas City after a very successful loan spell with Orlando City SC. Today's Throwback Thursday features Dwyer when he was drafted by Kansas City in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. Dwyer is back training with the team and will be available for Saturday's match against Columbus at Sporting Park.

18 January 4:16 pm

Sporting Kansas City's lone pick in the 2013 Major League Soccer SuperDraft is University of North Carolina midfielder Mikey Lopez. The former Tar Heel had a very successful college career with many individual accolades and was an integral part of the 2011 NCAA Division I National Championship team.

Lopez is a central midfielder and has consistently been called up to the US U-20 squad. He was recently called up to the U-20s for a training camp in Puebla, Mexico with Sporting KC goalkeeper Jon Kempin. The camp is in preparation for the CONCACAF U-20 tournament in February.

Mikey was the second youngest player selected in the 2013 SuperDraft and has been described by scouts as "Fiesty, terrier kind of guy but can be an attacking midfielder in MLS", "Extremely hard working, great lungs, can run all day. He's a pitbull", and "Major quality is his ability to close down and he's very much a defensive-minded player". 

Quick Facts

  • Position: Midfielder
  • Born: 2/20/93
  • Height: 5-9
  • Weight: 158
  • College: University of North Carolina
  • Hometown: Mission, Texas
  • Birthplace: Dallas, Texas
  • Citizenship: USA
  • Twitter: @mlopez5tarheel

Trophies & Individual Awards

2011 NCAA College Cup (Division I National Championship)
2011 ACC Freshman of the Year
2012: Top Drawer Soccer First Team National Team of the Year
2012: NSCAA All-American
2012: All-ACC First Team

Video Highlights

College Stats

  Games Goals Assists
2011 21 2 1
2012 25 3 4
Total 46 5 5


16 January 3:55 pm

The Major League Soccer SuperDraft will take place in Indianapolis on January 17, 2013. While teams are starting to develop homegrown players through their academies, the SuperDraft is still a important tool for clubs.

In the last five seasons, Sporting KC has drafted integral players to the team such as Matt Besler and Graham Zusi. Sporting KC led MLS in 2012 with the most number of minutes played by players selected in the SuperDraft.


Team Percentage (of minutes played)
Sporting Kansas City 0.6401
Chicago Fire 0.5850
Colorado Rapids 0.5467
Houston Dynamo 0.5104
LA Galaxy  0.4947
Montreal Impact 0.4761

In this year's draft, Sporting KC has the 14th pick in the first round and will not select in the second round (both picks were traded while acquiring Josh Gardner and Ike Opara). 

Notable Sporting KC draft picks in recent years


Chance Myers - Selected in 1st round (1st overall)


Matt Besler - Selected in 1st round (8th overall)

Graham Zusi - Selected in 2nd round (23rd overall)


Teal Bunbury - Selected in 1st round (4th overall)


C.J. Sapong - Selected in 1st round (10th overall)


Dom Dwyer - Selected in 1st round (16th overall)