MLS - Matt Besler retires after 13-year Major League Soccer career
Matt Besler announced his retirement from Major League Soccer on Wednesday morning, capping off a stellar 13-year career.
After 12 seasons as the defensive anchor for Sporting Kansas City, the 34-year-old center-back spent his final season with Austin FC.
“To the entire Austin community, thank you for welcoming my family and I to Austin,” Besler said in an open letter on Austin FC's website. “We felt a part of this city from the moment we arrived and made memories we will carry with us forever.”
“We’re very grateful to Matt and his family for all the time and energy they’ve given over the past year to help grow Austin FC,” Austin sporting director Claudio Reyna said in a statement. “Matt has had a stellar career and his contributions for club and country will not be forgotten. He’ll always be a part of our organization and we wish him success in this next chapter of his life.”
Besler signed with Austin as a free agent in January of last year, making 20 starts in the club's debut season before being sidelined by a concussion in the final months. In 314 regular-season games with the MLS, he had 3 goals and 18 assists, as well as 18 appearances in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
Besler was a club legend and captain at Sporting KC before joining Austin for his final MLS season. In 2013, he assisted them in winning the MLS Cup and three US Open Cups (2012, 2015 and 2017).