Matt Hedges

Matthew James Hedges (born April 1, 1990) is an American soccer player who currently plays as a central defender for FC Dallas in Major League Soccer. Hedges has been one of the better defenders in MLS since 2014, landing on the MLS Best XI in 2015 and 2016, and winning the MLS Defender of the Year award in 2016.

Matt Hedges
Personal information
Full name Matthew James Hedges
Date of birth (1990-04-01) April 1, 1990
Place of birth Rochester, New York, United States
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
FC Dallas
Number 24
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2010 Butler Bulldogs 59 (12)
2011 North Carolina Tar Heels 26 (6)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012– FC Dallas 243 (16)
National team
2015– United States 5 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 12, 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of July 19, 2017

Hedges also has five caps for the United States national team.

Career

College and amateur

Hedges attended Carmel High School (Carmel, IN) where he was a member of the 2006 Greyhounds soccer team that went undefeated, and won both the IHSAA Boy's Soccer State Championship[1] and the NSCAA National Championship. Hedges played college soccer at Butler University between 2008 and 2010, and at the University of North Carolina in 2011. During his time at Butler, Hedges was named NSCAA All-America Second Team as a junior, and he was also named Horizon League Defender of the Year in both his junior and sophomore years. After transferring to North Carolina, he was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year and NSCAA All-America First Team. He scored 6 times on the season and helped lead the Tar Heels defense to a 0.69 goals against average en route to the 2011 NCAA National Championship.

He also spent time with USL Premier Development League club Fort Wayne Fever in 2009, playing 9 games and 0 goals.

Hedges spent time with USL Premier Development League club Reading United in 2010 and 2011, scoring 4 goals in 24 appearances.[2]

Professional

FC Dallas selected Hedges in the first round (No. 11 overall) of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.[3] He made his professional debut on April 5, 2012, in a 1–0 victory against the New England Revolution. Due to injuries and his excellent play for a rookie, he became a regular starter for the club. His first goal in the 2014 season was a header in the 90th minute against Sporting Kansas City off a free kick taken by Michel. The goal tied the game, 1–1.[4]

Hedges captained the team for the first time in 2014,[5] a move that eventually became permanent.[6] Since becoming captain, he has led the club into the MLS playoffs in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Also in 2015, the club was the Western Conference regular season champions and Supporters' Shield runner-up. For the 2015 MLS season, he was named to the Best XI[7] and as a finalist for Defender of the Year.[8] Dallas was even more successful in 2016, winning the Supporters' Shield and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Hedges was once again named to the Best XI[9] and this time, was the winner of the Defender of the Year award.[10]

International

Hedges made his United States men's national soccer team debut on February 8, 2015, when he came on as a substitute in the 72nd minute against Panama in a friendly.[11] He was selected to the U.S. squad for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which the U.S. ended up winning. Hedges started and played 90 minutes in victories over Martinique in group stage play and El Salvador in the quarterfinals.

Honors

University of North Carolina

FC Dallas

International

United States

Individual

See also

References

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Andrew Jacobson
FC Dallas captain
2014–present
Incumbent
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