Previous
AS Roma
CSKA Moscow
5
1
FT
Game Details
Bayern Munich
Manchester City
1
0
FT
Game Details
Ajax Amsterdam
Paris Saint-Germain
1
1
FT
Game Details
Barcelona
Apoel Nicosia
1
0
FT
Game Details
Chelsea
Schalke 04
1
1
FT
Game Details
NK Maribor
Sporting Lisbon
1
1
FT
Game Details
Athletic Bilbao
Shakhtar Donetsk
0
0
FT
Game Details
FC Porto
BATE Borisov
6
0
FT
Game Details
Blackburn Rovers
Derby County
2
3
FT
Game Details
Nottingham Forest
Fulham
5
3
FT
Game Details
Fleetwood Town
Barnsley
0
0
FT
Game Details
FC Magna Wr. Neustadt
Rapid Vienna
1
5
FT
Game Details
SV Grodig
SC Rheindorf Altach
3
3
FT
Game Details
Montreal Impact
New York Red Bulls
1
0
FT
Game Details
Bayamon FC
America
1
10
FT
Game Details
Municipal
Real Espana
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Huachipato
U. Católica
2
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Universitario de Sucre
César Vallejo
2
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Libertad
Barcelona
2
0
LIVE 90' +1'
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
River Plate
Godoy Cruz de Mendoza
2
0
LIVE 90' +2'
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
San Lorenzo
Defensa y Justicia
1
2
FT
Game Details
Nueva Chicago
Boca Unidos
0
0
FT
Game Details
Huracán
Crucero del Norte
0
2
FT
Game Details
Aldosivi
Douglas Haig
1
1
FT
Game Details
Guarini A. Franco
Ferro Carril Oeste
1
1
FT
Game Details
Patronato
Atlético Tucumán
1
1
FT
Game Details
Sarmiento de Junín
Santamarina
2
2
FT
Game Details
Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy
Instituto de Córdoba
1
2
LIVE 71'
Game Details
Independiente Rivadavia
All Boys
0
0
LIVE 70'
Game Details
At. San Luis
Correcaminos
4
0
FT
Game Details
Irapuato
Altamira
0
1
FT
Game Details
Oaxaca
Lobos BUAP
1
1
FT
Game Details
Chiapas
Veracruz
0
0
LIVE 1'
Game Details
Queretaro
U.A.N.L
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
U. de G.
Atlas
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cruzeiro
Atletico Paranaense
2
0
FT
Game Details
EC Vitória
Fluminense FC
3
1
FT
Game Details
Figueirense FC
Criciúma
1
1
FT
Game Details
Sport
Internacional
0
0
FT
Game Details
Botafogo
Bahia
2
1
LIVE HT
Game Details
Coritiba FBC
São Paulo
0
1
LIVE HT
Game Details
Palmeiras
Flamengo
0
2
LIVE HT
Game Details
Alianza Lima
Inti Gas Deportes
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
12 de Octubre
Nacional
1
1
FT
Game Details
FC Seoul
Western Sydney Wanderers
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Bay United
Mamelodi Sundowns
Postp
Game Details
Chippa United
Orlando Pirates
Postp
Game Details
Free State Stars
Moroka Swallows
Postp
Game Details
Mpumalanga Black Aces
Ajax Cape Town
Postp
Game Details
Silver Stars
Pretoria Univ
Postp
Game Details
SuperSport United
Bloem Celtic
Postp
Game Details
Alajuelense
Belen
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Patriotas F.C.
La Equidad
(4) 2
(3) 2
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Atlético Junior
Llaneros
(4) 1
(2) 1
FT-Pens
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Boyacá Chicó FC
Once Caldas
12:30 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
Deportes Tolima
Independiente Medellín
12:30 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Independiente Santa Fe
Cucuta
12:45 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Next
 Posted by Doug McIntyre
Jul 23, 2014

Europe not Besler's only option to grow

It has been announced that Sporting Kansas City's Matt Besler and Graham Zusi have agreed to designated player contracts.

There were literally millions of reasons why Matt Besler decided to spurn offers from European teams and sign a seven-figure designated player contract that will keep him with his hometown Sporting Kansas City through the 2018 season.

It wasn't just the money. The starting U.S. national team defender explained some of the supporting rationale in a love letter to fans and friends that ran in Monday's Kansas City Star.

But believe it or not -- and judging by the reaction of many U.S. fans on social media after the deal was announced Saturday, many don't believe that staying in MLS is in Besler's or the Americans' best interest -- there are legitimate competitive grounds for the 27-year-old center-back to remain stateside.

"Re-signing in Kansas City doesn't mean I'm afraid to go play somewhere else," Besler, an MLS lifer who was among the best U.S. players in their World Cup second-round run in Brazil, told ESPN FC in a phone interview on Tuesday. "I really believe that I can get better playing here."

- Ashley Cole rejected MLS offers
- Guardiola: Green deserves Bayern chance

Besides, it's not as if the clubs Besler was linked to overseas -- including Premier League strugglers Sunderland, now second-tier English side Fulham, and Germany's Freiburg, which finished 14th in the 18-team Bundesliga last season -- are world-beaters. Besler's performances on the global stage showed that he is capable of starting for any of those teams, but the volatile nature of the European game -- not least for perpetual relegation candidates -- would have made making the leap now, in the prime of his career, a risky proposition before you even consider the financial aspects.

While the terms of Besler's four-year, guaranteed pact have not been made public, rumors and common sense suggest it's in the neighborhood of the $1 million-per-year deal fellow U.S. center-back Omar Gonzalez signed with the LA Galaxy last year.

"Right now, with what I had in front of me," Besler said, "signing with Sporting and staying in MLS was the best option."

It could also be the best outcome for the national team. With his future settled, the Overland Park, Kansas, product can build on his successful World Cup experience and concentrate on becoming even more of a key player with SKC and the U.S. national team.

And even if they won't come every week, he'll still get opportunities to test himself against the world's best players. Sporting takes on Manchester City on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2/WatchESPN); he'll face Bayern Munich with the MLS All-Stars on Aug. 6; and there will be plenty of international games against top-end foes in Besler's future, too.

Matt Besler put an end to the gossip linking him to Europe by signing a four-year designated player contract with Sporting KC.

Perhaps the idea that MLS can't adequately prepare players for the highest level should be rethought, anyway, after domestic-leaguers like Gonzalez, Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin also acquitted themselves well in Brazil. Besler insists there are on-field benefits to be found at home.

"Of course there are some aspects of the game where you'd get better in Europe than in MLS," Besler said of the never-ending debate. "But there are some parts of MLS that make you a better player as opposed to Europe. The physicality of the game here means it's a grind for 90 minutes. Yeah, there might be more turnovers and less skill, but that also means there's a lot more transition, and that makes games hard. If you're playing on a team that keeps the ball 80 percent of the game, you don't have to do a lot defensively. In MLS, every team is so even that you never really dominate. It's back-and-forth, and you have to be tuned in the entire game."

Ultimately, the next four years will determine whether Besler's decision to stay put was the right one. What's clear is he has determined to prove the doubters wrong.

"People are going to have opinions no matter what you do," he said. "They think they know where you should play, but the fact is no one really understands what it's like to be in your shoes.

"I want to challenge myself in everything I do. I think to say that you can only get better playing in Europe is absolutely incorrect."

Doug McIntyre

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has watched or attended almost every U.S. men's national team game since Paul Caligiuri's "shot heard 'round the world" and has covered the Yanks for The Mag since 2005. Follow him on Twitter @DougMacESPN.