Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler is a 2011 MLS-All Star, receiving nearly three times as many votes via AT&T Text Voting than any other MLS player, the League announced on Sunday. The 2011 AT&T MLS All-Stars will face Manchester United at 7:30 p.m. CT on July 27th at Red Bull Arena in a marquee match shown live on ESPN2, Galavision and TSN.
“I want to thank all of the people who texted to vote for me and I am honored to be named as the AT&T Text Winner for the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game,” Besler said. “I look forward to representing Sporting Kansas City against Manchester United again.”
The Overland Park, Kansas native from Blue Valley West High School has appeared in 16 matches for Sporting Kansas City this season, recording his first career goal against the Chicago Fire on March 26th and his first career assist on Aurelien Collin’s game-winning goal at Portland earlier this month.
“I’m really happy for him,” Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes said. “It’s a testament to the hard work he has put in, not only since he entered the League, but also in the off-seasons as well. It’s a reward for his commitment to continue to get better and I think it’s an indication of what he’s been able to accomplish.”
Besler, 24, has anchored the Sporting Kansas City defense during the team’s current 12-game unbeaten run in all competition, appearing in every match during the stretch which is tied for the longest such streak in club history. With Besler in central defense, Sporting Kansas City has conceded a goal or less in each of the team’s last 13 games and has allowed only three goals at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
Taken in the first round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, Besler has started 52 of his 56 appearances for Sporting Kansas City in three seasons. He also played the final 46 minutes in Kansas City’s 2-1 upset of Manchester United last summer, preserving the team’s one-goal lead against the defending English Premier League champions.
Besler received 30 percent of all AT&T All-Star votes submitted via text, behind the support of Sporting Kansas City, as well as his alma mater Notre Dame University and Kansas City-based mobile company Handmark.
2010 MLS All-Star First XI
Goalkeeper: Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounder FC)
Defenders: Sean Franklin (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Rafa Marquez (New York Red Bulls), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls).
Midfielders: David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Jack Jewsbury (Portland Timbers), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
Forwards: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
AT&T Text Voting Winner
Defender: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)