By Brix Fowler, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
United States' Matt Besler goes up to head the ball over Germany's Miroslav Klose during the group G World Cup soccer match between the United States and Germany (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
LENEXA, KS (KCTV) -
It's pretty clear that World Cup fever has taken over the U.S., but it has hit especially hard in the metro, thanks to hometown stars Graham Zusi and Matt Besler.
Of the people who tuned in closely to Thursday's game were some of U.S. defender Besler's first supporters, his former coaches.
It was a raucous crowd inside Challenger Sports as employees watched the U.S. take on Germany in the World Cup.
"It can be pretty brutal at times as you've seen, but it's a fun environment. That's what the World Cup is all about," said Alan Jones, Besler's former coach. "You look back at times. You could see he's a very composed player. He had a lot of talent."
Jones coached the 27-year-old from the time he was 8 until 15 years old and thinks his protégé has held his own in his first World Cup.
"When you're playing against people like (Portugal's Cristiano) Ronaldo and the best players on the world, he's come on really well and I've been very pleased, like I'm sure everybody has, with the way he's playing at the moment," the coach said.
He's also not shocked Besler and the rest of his teammates advanced out of the group of death.
"I think it's great the rest of the world see that we can play at this level and not just play at that level and compete but win games," Jones said.
He hopes Besler is having a good time while they do.
"Keep living the dream and try to take in as much as you can. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Jones said.
Fans can see Besler play again for the United States men's national soccer team on Tuesday.
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