Player name: Nick Besler
Position: Defensive midfielder
Last club: Portland Timbers 2
One thing you need to know
Nick was selected with the 5th overall pick of the 2015 MLS Superdraft by the Portland Timbers, but after signing a MLS contract, he spent the next two years on loan to Portland 2 before having the team decline his option following the 2016 season.
What he brings to the team
Another product of Notre Dame soccer and veteran of two seasons in the Western Conference of USL, Nick brings a wealth of experience in the league and familiarity with several of his new Monarch teammates into this chance for a new start. With the high upside and athleticism indicated by his collegiate career and draft position Besler likely has more to prove in the future.
In preseason appearances with both the parent team and the Monarchs Nick has demonstrated a willingness to stay active and mix things up in the midfield while connecting well through the midfield. He scored a goal against BYU and has shown indications of forming a strong partnership with Max Lachowecki, another Notre Dame product, and Charlie Adams. Another example of the new approach being taken by the Monarchs he has continually demonstrated the ability to keep his cool and play in control without receiving a lot of cards or other discipline.
Why you should be excited
In an interview during the 2015 season, Nick expressed his thoughts on the value of soccer:
“I think as far as qualities and skills, it teaches you to work as a team, obviously, as well as looking after yourself with how you stay on top of your time, how to do your time management and staying organized with everything you need to balance.”
Besler will be a definite asset as new coach Mike Petke attempts to build a team identity and a consistent level of play while constantly juggling his lineups between short term loanees from the parent club, the few veterans from 2016, and a whole host of new signings for 2017. Nick has a superb opportunity to provide veteran leadership and a level of consistency in the midst of all the changes.
If Nick can form a strong partnership with Charlie Adams and others he has all the skills need to become a fan favorite and pivot point for the new look Monarchs in 2107 as they seek their first appearance in the USL postseason.
Predictions for 2017
- Nick will match his average of 19 starts and 1750 minutes during the two seasons with T2 in 2017 as a Monarch.
- Nick will double his single USL goal with at least 2 successful strikes in 2017.
- Nick will start a USL playoff game for the first time wearing a Monarchs jersey.