KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Overland Park-native and former Sporting KC defender Matt Besler tweeted Wednesday he is retiring as a professional soccer player.
Besler, who played this year with Austin FC of Major League Soccer, appeared to indicate soccer will still be a part of his life, just not as a player.
“I’m so excited to start a new challenge and look forward to approaching it with the same determination I had while playing,” Besler, 34, said.
Besler spent 12 seasons with Sporting KC, scoring three goals and notching 18 assists. He was part of Sporting KC’s MLS Cup season in 2013.
Besler was also a mainstay on the U.S. Men’s national team between 2013-2017, which included the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
He was named the MLS Defender of the Year in 2012, and made the MLS All-Star team in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the experiences and relationships the game brought me,” Besler said.
Sporting KC recognized Besler’s retirement on social media Wednesday, calling him “one of the most accomplished and beloved players in Sporting KC history.”