Sporting KC Locks Up World Cup Stars Graham Zusi, Matt Besler

Tulsa World (Tulsa, OK), July 20, 2014 | Go to article overview

Sporting KC Locks Up World Cup Stars Graham Zusi, Matt Besler


Zusi

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Two of the U.S. team's breakout stars from the World Cup will keep playing at home.

Graham Zusi and Matt Besler signed long-term designated player contracts to remain with MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City, the club announced Saturday night. Both players had received interest from abroad after their strong performances in Brazil.

"Graham and Matt have both proven over the past almost six seasons that they are core players within this club," Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said shortly before Saturday night's game versus the Los Angeles Galaxy.

"They have had a tremendous impact on creating a winning culture, and these agreements keep us on the path of attaining our goals and expectations."

The designated-player rule, which was put in place before the 2007 season, allows clubs to acquire up to three players whose salaries exceed their budget charges. The club is then responsible for the amount of compensation above each player's budget charge.

In according with league and club policy, specific terms of the deals were not disclosed.

"Getting these deals completed is extremely beneficial for the organization and the two players," Vermes said in a statement. "I want to thank the ownership group for their continued vision and commitment to securing both players for the long term."

Zusi appeared in all four games for the U.S. in Brazil, contributing assists in back-to-back games in the group stage against Ghana and Portugal. The 27-year-old midfielder, also a three- time MLS All-Star, has scored three goals in 27 career games for the national team.

He's been Sporting KC's most valuable player the past two seasons, and last year was chosen as the team's top offensive player. …

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