As they discussed wedding dates last January, Matt Besler and Amanda Miller considered the chance that Sporting Kansas City would play in the MLS Cup game on Dec. 7.
Just in case it happened, the 26-year-olds thought, they set the date for a week later.
“As it got closer and closer, you could feel it,” says Matt, who’s a defender for the team. “That, ‘Oh my gosh. We are going to do it, and we are going to play, and it’s going to be in KC.’”
Sporting KC won the MLS Cup that night in a historic 10-round penalty kick shootout against Real Salt Lake. Final score: 7-6.
A week later, Besler put on his tuxedo for his wedding day.
Matt and Amanda met in high school through mutual friends but lost touch after graduation. Matt went off to Notre Dame, and Amanda attended the University of Kansas. After college they reconnected.
“We have the same kind of moral background and grew up in sort of the same area so we enjoy some of the same things,” Amanda said. “We just have a lot in common, and that made it easy to be friends, and then eventually it made it easy to start dating.”
What wasn’t easy was planning a wedding during soccer season. With Matt gone the first two months of their engagement, Amanda was on her own.
“There were definitely times where it was kind of frustrating, and I needed his help with making the decisions,” Amanda said. “I’m the bride, though, and so ultimately I feel like it was my decision. It’s kind of hard having the other half of the wedding being gone.”
Amanda and Matt also received a special surprise from the Sporting KC fans referred to as the Cauldron.
While Matt was in Las Vegas celebrating the MLS Cup victory, Amanda called him to say that something weird was going on with their registry. A lot of people they didn’t know were buying things for them. They found out it was the Cauldron.
“What the fans did is incredible,” Matt said. “It proves that they are the best fans in the league because that doesn’t happen anywhere else, and you don’t hear about that too often. We are very thankful.”
Soccer, though, didn’t have much of a role in the Besler wedding.
“They asked if we wanted to bring the MLS Cup to the wedding to just have it on display and we thought about it for a little bit, but we decided not to because we wanted the focus to be on us and on our wedding,” Matt said.
Matt admits that he was thankful to have soccer as an excuse to be distracted from the wedding planning and from how nervous he actually was.
“When you finally stand up on the altar and you realize that you are getting married, it just hits you,” Matt said. “I was excited and I didn’t think about it too much at all, but it hit me once the doors opened and Amanda came walking down the aisle. I was just really happy.”
Now that the wedding is over, the couple say that not much has changed. Amanda is back at work as a collegiate apparel licensing supervisor for Nike and Hurley, and Matt is set to start training with Sporting KC on Saturday.
“That whole week was pretty much just a dream come true for me,” Matt said. “It’ll be a week that I will never forget.”