Besler won’t rule out possibility of move abroad one day

Matt Besler


When Matt Besler signed his new Designated Player contract with Sporting Kansas City earlier this month, the common belief was that the new deal meant he would finish out his career with the reigning MLS Cup champions.

While that may still wind up being the case, Besler hasn’t completely closed the door on one day playing overseas.

“Right now, I’m very happy, but never say never because you never know what’s going to happen a year down the road, two years down the road,” Besler told after being named to the Goal 50, which honors the world’s best 50 players from the previous year.

Besler also would not rule out a loan stint in the winter, though loan deals for defenders are usually a tougher proposition than for attackers.

“It’s tricky with the loan move. I would say I’m open to it, but it would have to be the right situation. Who knows what’s going to happen?” Besler told “If Jurgen is looking for guys to go play in the offseason on loan deals, then that’s something I’m going to have to look in to. If he wants guys to take their four or five weeks off and join up for January, then that’s what I’ll look to try to do. It’s hard to say right now what the future holds.”

Could Besler really still make a move abroad? Sporting KC is a club known for being open to selling player, having sold the likes of Kei Kamara and Uri Rosell in the past year, but given Besler’s importance to Sporting KC, and his age (27), it seems unlikely that the kind offer it would take to buy him would be coming any time soon.

Besler was named to the Goal 50 after an impressive year that saw him help the U.S. qualify for the World Cup, lead Sporting KC to an MLS Cup title, then lead the U.S. defense on a World Cup run to the Round of 16.

What do you think about Besler going overseas one day? Still hoping he has a chance to play in Europe? Think he’ll stay in MLS for his entire career?

Share your thoughts below.

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44 Responses to Besler won’t rule out possibility of move abroad one day

  1. Brian I says:

    He’s not going anywhere…the offers weren’t that great at 27 coming off a World Cup. He might still improve as a player, but offers, unlike a fine wine, don’t get better with age.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I don’t see where the absolute language comes from. The Dynamo signed Geoff Cameron to an extension and then sold him to Stoke. Landon Donovan, David Beckham, and other players have signed (or re-signed) here then been loaned abroad on breaks. His US partner in crime Gonzalez was practicing in Germany when he got hurt. etc. etc.

      • bryan says:

        probably fair to say we should stay away from absolute language but Geoff moved at 26 or 27. back in 2012 Besler trailed with some EPL teams but ultimately signed with KC. so that should be compared to Cameron’s original extension with Houston. but unlike Cameron, Besler didn’t take the next set of offers that came in and instead signed as a DP with KC.

        i also think comparing LD and Becks to Besler is as silly as using absolutely language. for Omar, the guy would have moved to Europe had Chandler not injured him.

        • Brian I says:

          What’s all this talk about my absolute language? I just stated my opinion, which everyone here does haha….how about this edit “I don’t think he’s going anywhere”.

          • bryan says:

            don’t take it the wrong way, i certainly don’t care. i read it as your opinion. didn’t bother me. but to get a discussion going to Imperative, i went with it.

            • Brian I says:

              Oh I didn’t take it the wrong way, it was more directed at Imperative. I just replied to yours since you mentioned it.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Just from previous KC players, yes, he lost the Espinoza route (free), but there is also the Kamara route (loan). And you can be sold mid-contract (Cameron) or released.

          In Cameron’s case, his first contract year went fine, but by year 2 he was loafing around ineffectively and the team spent months lining up his transfer. The contract ensured the Dynamo got paid but did not prevent a transfer. To the contrary, it ensured a transfer price. Besler has talent and will not be so pricey a $3-5 million fee would be much deterrent.

          Kamara went abroad at 29. Landon was roughly 30 for his last loan. Beckham was well into his 30s. Window may be closing, but is not closed. He is a starting international CB……..

          Which is also my response to your “Landon comparison” concerns. Landon isn’t even NT anymore, Besler is. Ergo un-silly. Landon was a bigger deal in his prime, but Besler plays a need position and would be seen as one of the more reliable and attractive team members — HE JUST GOT PURSUED!!!!!

          If Ream can get a job abroad, Besler remains a commodity. He has committed himself, may have no real interest, but I think the suggestions he just clicked the mutual OFF switch permanently when teams were just interested and his teammates have made their own transfers, including at ages closer to 30, is over-sold.

          • bryan says:

            i’m sorry, but Beckham is Beckham. comparing him to Besler is ridiculous, IMO.

            and yes, LD right now is not a NT. but he WAS at the time he went on loan to Everton…which is the time frame you were referring to. so him no longer being a NT player makes no different in your comparison because your comparison is being made when he was.

            look, i’m not in total disagreement with you nor do i think it’s impossible for him to still make a move abroad. i just think the Cameron situation is not a great comparison (but not awful) while i think the Becks and LD comparisons were off based.

          • Brian I says:

            Your neglecting to think about the teams that were interested in him, even with his stock at it’s highest value. Fulham, Sunderland etc… My point is his value probably won’t get any higher than now and if that’s what he is getting, I don’t see those types of teams being able to get coerce him to leave his comfy DP contract in his home state.

            PS…I’m not saying his decision either way is right or wrong.

      • Brian I says:

        If I recall (and I may be wrong) Cameron always made it known he wanted to go abroad, while Besler seems to be alright staying home. Landon and Beckham aren’t really comparable as they are in a different class of interested teams and renown, as well as having a past in Europe already.

        It seemed like from all the reports that it would take more than a Sunderland or Fulham to entice him to turn down a DP offer at home where he is comfortable. My statement was that, while he may improve, at 27 and never playing in Europe the teams and offers being thrown at him won’t.

    • sony says:

      what that shmack is smoking? He will die in MLS LOL!

  2. NASL TO EL PASO TX says:


  3. Karl L. says:

    I’m sure they meant the US’ 50 best players, right?

  4. John says:

    That ship has sailed and he missed his chance.

  5. bryan says:

    sorry dude, you basically just signed on to stay in MLS the rest of your career. he had the chance and he decided against it. he would have to absolutely dominate the rest of this season and maybe the Gold Cup to have a chance at being bought by a European side. and there is no way he gets better offers than what he had.

    • Eurosnob says:

      Yep, his value was at its peak after the WC. The MLS season and the Gold Cup do not get the same attention from the European scouts and clubs as the WC does.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:


      That’s really his best opportunity. Take a loan to an injury-ridden EPL team (whichever that may be come January), shore up their defense, prove his worth, get attention. The teams that took notice will watch him in the Gold Cup or make an offer right then—and he would get a chance to be away from home and see if he can handle it.

      The offers weren’t that great after the WC because probably a lot of teams know that WC performance doesn’t always translate to league performance, so Besler was a risk. A loan lets him prove that he’s good in MLS, good in WC, and good in EPL.

      • bryan says:

        agreed. that seems like the only plausible situation. wherever he goes on loan, though, is likely to be the same level of team that wanted to buy him in the first place. so to me, as a fan, my first thought is, “then why didn’t he just go in the first place?!”

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          A loan could help him move up though, both in terms of the level of the team and the offer. A loan is noncommittal, so a bigger club that normally doesn’t have to resort to risks like Besler might be more willing, especially if desperate with injuries. If he proves himself in that setting, then that just adds to the interest (and willingness to pay).

          I think also, as he said in the interview, it wasn’t entirely his decision to move now. KC still had him on contract.

          • bryan says:

            yeah, i certainly see your point. i hope you are right, i just think the chance should have been taken now. in 2012 he had EPL offers and turned them down, that’s fine. but this was the window to move.

            good call on that quote about being under contract still. that certainly seems to hint that KC was going to reject these moves one way or the other because they didn’t like the transfer fee.

      • beto says:

        I believe I have heard Besler talk about how its a lot easier for a forward or midfielder to have a meaningful 1-2 month loan than a defender.

        The centerback position is so much about teamwork and providing a consistent presence in defense where other positions are more individualistic — not really something that can be developed in a short loan period.. He is in a good place in KC

        • whoop-whoop says:

          True that…. if nothing else USMNT CBs are well acquainted with having to adapt to and play with a new pairing every time out.

  6. Eric says:

    Very disappointing that Besler didn’t go abroad. His value will likely never be higher.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I think it’s the offers that were disappointing. I guess moving to Fulham might have been worthwhile because he would have faced far more challenging opponents each week but I also don’t have a problem with him staying.

      I think this will become less of a problem for US players as the role of college soccer diminishes in our development system. I think Matt might have risen to prominence sooner if he hadn’t spent four years playing college ball.

      • bryan says:

        Fulham was one offer but he had EPL offers too.

        • slowleftarm says:

          Oops, I meant Sunderland, not Fulham. Sunderland is the only EPL offer I’m aware of. Were there others?

          • bryan says:

            that’s the one that i was thinking of too. i read there were others, but no names. Seltzer said he had offers from Bundesliga teams too.

      • beto says:

        good point. think of it this way. college is 4 years – that’s one less WC cycle that he could have played in. If he was at this point in his career 4 years ago he would absolutely be a big transfer target.

        if college soccer was producing talents that were MLS starters/pushing for the national team like Dempsey or Renya were that would be one thing but 99% of ncaa grads or even GA players need 2-4 years to develop in MLS before they are at that level.

        ncaa needs to make a lot of changes or else it should be avoided by elite prospects.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Never? Next 4 years wil be Gold Cup, Copa America in the USA, Gold Cup/quali, Russia. Big tournament a year to go in the shop window. Plus he plays for a solid domestic side that generally shows well and makes the playoffs, which will make his GA look good and give him big games scouts could see.

      I thought he had an un-even World Cup, and Sunderland is hardly like oooooh I have to snag that, look at how Jozy got treated. I’m a Fulham fan hoping they bounce back, but that would have been taken on faith, roster turnover aside. If B.1 teams were interested that has to be balanced against the history of Americans there, many transfer crash and burns, Clark, etc. A stable playing situation locks in his NT value. An unstable one has Gooch potential.

  7. That_Guy says:

    Unfortunate to see, but he wont be starting in 2018. With Packwood, Brooks, Cameron, Ream, O’Neil and the countless others who we have no idea about (through dual nationalities or just guys coming out of nowhere) potentially coming into or establishing themselves in the system, passing up on the opportunity to play in a better league is USMNT suicide. I really hope he loves KC a lot, because him staying will be what killed his USMNT future. But hey, some people value being home over being the best player you can be, which is fine.

    I could be wrong and he could prove me entirely wrong (which would be nice). I just wouldn’t count it. Being the best in MLS doesnt really account for much (Magee and Wondoloski).

    And as many have already stated, the hsip has sailed on him moving, so these words from him are kinda silly.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      I wouldn’t say that his words were “silly.” He sounds to me like he was just answering a question—“So will you never go abroad?”—with the least inflammatory answer: “Not now, but I won’t say ‘never.'”

      • That_Guy says:

        Fair enough. I guess that kind of makes this story silly, not his comments. I was a little too critical.

    • Yevgeniy says:

      So, you think he will have no chance just because he will be in MLS. Klinsmann doesn’t seem to share this opinion. You mentioned Magee, but why not Beckerman or Zusi? They were not even the best in MLS, but were starters in Brazil.

      • That_Guy says:

        It’s not just MLS. If Diskerrud stays in Norway he won’t make the squad. Boyd did not make the team because of him being in the Austrian League. The Championship players rarely got a look. The USMNT has some great youth in the pipeline (for once) and these guys are hungry to be the best they can be. When you choose to stay in a worse league when other options are offered to you, you arent hungry to be the best you can be. We have youths in England, Germany, and many other leagues who just want to be the best. Its these players that will beat out the ones who are contempt with where they are at.

        If you are the best player on your team and your team isnt the best in the world, your on the wrong team.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I think you’re the only one saying anything silly here.

  8. angstchild says:

    He’s not going to Europe because he’s not ready to relax on a beach yet.

  9. Yankeedom says:

    The time for Besler to move was this summer. I don’t know how good/bad the european offers were but he could have moved and even if he had a horrible stint with the european club he could always come back to MLS with 2,3 years to spare/regain form/see regular playing time before the hex and the world cup.

    What happens if he moves two years from now and doesn’t see the pitch? Very good chance it hurts his world cup chances.

  10. Jack says:

    Klinsmann might talk endlessly about players pushing them self to the next level in Europe but is it worth the risk? It seems like playing it safe and getting playing time is more important at the end of the day when you take a Brad Davis and not someone like Shea.

  11. Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

    Here is an example of overvalued:

    When a guy who JUST signed a contract, presumably because it was a BETTER deal for him, is asked 5 seconds later, ‘when are you leaving for Europe ?’

    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

      and for those that can’t put two and two together, I don’t mean Besler is
      overvalued ( obviously )