Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler was named to the MLS All Star Fan XI on Saturday ahead of the 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 28.
2016 MLS ALL-STAR FAN XI
Goalkeeper: Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
Defenders: Matt Besler (SKC), Laurent Ciman (MTL), Kegan Rosenberry (PHI)
Midfielders: Kaka (ORL), Darlington Nagbe (POR), Andrea Pirlo (NYC), Giovani dos Santos (LA)
Forwards: Didier Drogba (MTL), Sebastian Giovinco (TOR), David Villa (NYC)
Besler, 29, earns MLS All-Star accolades for the fifth time in his career, third most in club history behind Preki (seven) and Jimmy Conrad (six). The center back has played 11 MLS matches this season, anchoring a defense that has faced a league-low 9.5 shots per game and ranks fourth with a 1.16 goals against average.
A native of Overland Park, Kansas, Besler scored the third goal of his professional career in the 91st minute of a 3-2 victory over Columbus Crew SC on July 3. It was his first appearance for Sporting Kansas City since spending the month of June with the United States Men’s National Team, where he started two matches at Copa America Centenario.
Besler has received 35 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team since debuting in January 2013. Since then, the defender has collected four straight MLS All-Star honors to go with his debut All-Star appearance in 2011. A regular staple of the backline since joining Sporting Kansas City out of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, Besler has landed MLS Best XI (2012, 2013) and 2012 MLS Defender of the Year recognition during a career highlighted by a 2013 MLS Cup championship and two U.S. Open Cup titles (2012, 2015).
The MLS All-Stars will face English Premier League club Arsenal FC at 6:30 p.m. CT on July 28 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California. The annual showcase will be broadcast live in the United States on ESPN, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network.
The 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star game day roster will be announced on July 17 and include the two Commissioner’s Picks as well as 20 players selected by All-Star team head coach Dominic Kinnear of the San Jose Earthquakes. While the players named to the Fan XI are not guaranteed a spot on the game day roster, the outcome of fan voting is taken into consideration as the 22-man roster is decided.