Sporting KC, US defender Matt Besler says spending career in KC a "dream," but he'll explore options

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Matt Besler loves his hometown and says he still dreams of playing his entire career here. But after his standout World Cup turn with the US national team, Sporting Kansas City's star center back also knows that he's become a hot commodity.

“I think that I've made it very clear how happy that I am in Kansas City, how grateful I am to play here,” Besler said Sunday, during a news conference – which also included Sporting and Nats teammate Graham Zusi – before Sporting's home match against Chicago (3 pm ET, ESPN). “That hasn't changed at all. At the same time, in the position that I'm in right now, you may only get these kinds of opportunities once in your lifetime.

“I feel the need to at least look into potential opportunities and make a decision from there,” he went on. “So I'll be talking with Peter [Vermes, Sporting's manager] and Robb [Heineman, club president], and some of the other owners, potentially – talking with them very, very shortly and going from there.”

Even so, he said, it could be some time before the details of any move – or his retention by the only professional club he's ever played for – are worked out.

“It's not something that you just go and decide,” he said. “It's a process, and there's a lot of moving parts. There's a lot of thought that goes into it.”

Besler, who turned down interest from several European clubs to re-sign with Sporting after the 2012 season, also stressed that he's not the one who will make the final call on whether he stays or goes.

“It's not a decision for me,” he said. “I'm under contract right now with Sporting. So ultimately, it's up to them. They have the right to sell me if they want. They have the right to keep me if they want. Hopefully, we both have enough respect for each other that we work together.”

And while he's exploring possibilities – as he did in 2012 before re-upping – Besler reiterated his affection for his hometown late in the news conference.

“It's a dream of mine to play here, and it would be a dream of mine to play my entire career here,” he said. “And so that's one of my dreams. But you can have other dreams as well. Maybe one of my other dreams could be to play in Europe. If that's one of my dreams, that's something I have to think about.”

Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.