CHESTER, Pa. – It’s been quite the week for the Besler family, with Matt Besler winning the MLS Cup with Sporting Kansas City this past Saturday and his brother, Nick Besler, playing in the College Cup with Notre Dame this weekend at PPL Park.
But forgive the Besler parents for not making the trip to Philadelphia to see their youngest son play in Notre Dame’s national semifinal game against New Mexico on Friday (5 pm ET, ESPNU).
They’ll be busy preparing for Matt’s wedding Saturday in Kansas City.
“It’s unfortunate with the planning but it’s OK – stuff like this happens,” Nick Besler told MLSsoccer.com during the Irish’s walkthrough at PPL Park on Thursday. “It’s a good conflict to have, that’s for sure.”
Nick, of course, will have to miss the wedding, even though he was supposed to be the best man, along with their other brother, Mike. It will be a rare occurrence when the three brothers aren’t together for a family event.
Matt Besler MLS Cup Postgame: 'It was a grind'
Growing up in Kansas City, they were always together – usually on fields, courts or anywhere else they could play sports. And as the youngest of the three, Nick said that gave him a serious competitive streak as he got older – a competitive streak that still exists today.
“I’d like to think I was the best player,” Nick said. “But Matt will probably say he was, and Mike will probably say he was.”
While Mike Besler is now in law school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Matt, of course, has grown into one of the best defenders in MLS and a starting center back with the US national team. Before that, he starred at Notre Dame from 2005-08, leading Nick to want to suit up for the Fighting Irish too.
Nick also hopes to follow in his older brother’s footsteps and play in MLS. But first, the Irish’s junior holding midfielder -- a starter, of course -- hopes to win a couple of games in what is Notre Dame’s first trip to the College Cup, starting with Friday’s contest.
If they win, the Irish will take on either Maryland or Virginia in Sunday’s title game (3 pm ET, ESPNU), with the Besler parents making the trip for that one.
“I don’t think we’re quite satisfied yet,” Nick said. “I think the College Cup is a great step, but what we’ve been working for all year is a national championship. I think we’ll finally be satisfied once we get that.”
Another title for the Besler family would also be a cherry on top to what’s already been an incredible week.
“If I miss Matt’s wedding because I go win a national championship,” Nick said, “I don’t think he’ll be too disappointed.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.