Since being drafted fifth overall by the Portland Timbers in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, Nick Besler has anchored the T2 midfield this season. Learn about his experience in the city so far and how his path to Portland aligned with an unexpected friend.
You’ve been in Portland since late January. What sticks out most to you about the city?
It’s a cool city. It’s definitely different than any other city I’ve been to before. Growing up in Kansas City, and spending four years in South Bend, it’s really green, which I like. People are really free spirited here, they can do whatever they want and it’s a pretty cool thing.
Have you explored any other parts of Oregon? Have you explored the beach? The mountains?
I’ve actually been to the beach twice, I went to Cannon Beach and a little bit north of Seaside. I haven’t really been to the mountains yet. I’ve driven a little south down the river but I haven’t really checked out the mountains yet.
You scored your first professional goal against Newcastle. How does that stack up with other memorable soccer moments for you?
I don’t score too many goals, but when I do, every single one of them is a cool one. To score against Newcastle – an EPL side – that was special. As far as comparing to some of my other goals, it’s pretty high up there.
What are two things that the game of soccer has taught you over the years?
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.
Fellow Notre Dame athlete Pat Connaugton was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers across town. Are you excited to have another Irishman representing in Portland?
Funny thing about that is he’s actually one of my best friends. When I was following the draft, I was sending him text messages saying, ‘How cool would it be if you ended up in Portland?’ Funny enough he ended up here, so it’s cool to have a good friend up here.
Screw the nets!!! Bring him to Portland baby!!!! My brother coming to Portland!! Can't hold the excitement in right now— Nick Besler (@BickisBack) June 26, 2015