Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Sporting KC bumps up the ante to keep Zusi -- for now
by Ridge Mahoney, June 28th, 2013 9:57PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

TAGS:  mls, sporting kansas city


[MLS SPOTLIGHT] He’s not a Designated Player, but he’s being paid like one. That’s the cryptic condition -- of which MLS is probably the master -- attached to a new deal for Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi that was announced on Friday.

Salary terms were not disclosed. The contract extension binds his rights to MLS and SKC until 2017. Since his base salary ($140,000) and guaranteed compensation ($173,812.50) for 2013 were on the low side for a U.S. international with Best XI honors under his belt, some financial restructuring has been done to, presumably, increase his compensation into the neighborhood of the $368,750 salary-budget charge imposed on DPs.

“I would say, for all intents and purposes, that he really is a DP,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said on Friday during a news conference. “The difference is that there are certain monies available, that I have the ability to use within the salary cap, that are what are called ‘retention funds’ – to be able to retain certain players within your roster. That allows us to bring him under that DP level.”

Not addressed is whether "retention funds" are something akin to allocation money, the uses of which include retaining players signed to new contracts. Since technically Zusi signed an extension, not a new deal, perhaps it’s just another wrinkle in the mysterious process of how money flows in MLS.

Zusi, 26, earned MLS All-Star and Best XI honors and was an MVP finalist in 2012 after leading the league with 15 assists and scoring five goals. His career totals are 14 goals and 28 assists in 110 career matches, all with SKC. He has expressed interest in going overseas and this new contract would make any such move more expensive. He’s not been averse to expressing his happiness at playing for the club that drafted him 23rd overall in the 2009 SuperDraft.

“I don't want to get ahead of myself. I just signed a four-year deal,” he said. “So that's where my head's at now. Who knows? Eventually it could happen. My dream of playing in Europe -- I'm not going to go there just to say I'm playing in Europe. I want to be in a spot where I'm getting the best training, the best competition that I can play at.

“I'm not going to go to a league just because of the name of the league,” he went on. “I want to get the most consistent competition that I can, and for me right now that's right here.”

Vermes has no doubts Zusi could flourish outside of MLS. He has played the attacker, nicknamed “Zeus,” in different positions and formations during his pro career and crisply ticks off the reasons for his success.

“You can talk about the skill, the technique, all that other stuff,” Vermes said. “But his work ethic -- his transitional moments in games, defense to offense and offense to defense, the pace at which he goes -- there are people who don't even notice it because they think that's what you're supposed to do. But look around the field and look what the other guys are doing. That's not happening. He's special in that respect.”

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
Newcomers debut for U.S. U-17s boys in pair of wins    
In their first games since Coach John Hackworth named the 32-player roster for the fall semester ...
Video Pick: A fowl field invasion    
A duck's crash landing interrupted a Bulgarian league game despite goalkeeper Nikolay Bankov's best efforts to ...
What They're Saying: Political science professor Fabio Wanderley Reis    
"People are not feeling represented and candidates like [Joao Leite and Alexandre Kalil], with very little political ...
USL: Nashville SC hires SUM exec Jeske    
Court Jeske, who spent eight years at MLS and Soccer United Marketing as vice president, international ...
MLS: Brad Davis joins vets who are retiring    
Brad Davis, a six-time MLS all-star and two-time MLS champion, announced Sunday that he will retire ...
NASL Rewind: Rayo OKC surges in playoff race    
With one week left in the NASL regular season, Rayo OKC, the Oklahoma club that in ...
Video Pick: Kaka finishes with golazo    
Kaka's second MLS season also ended without a playoff bid, but the Brazilian superstar is a ...
MLS Power Rankings: Red Bulls finish on top    
FC Dallas took the Supporters' Shield by repeating its 60-point performance of 2015, but the New ...
What They're Saying: Jeff Agoos    
"I think the irony that people don't realize about Bruce is he is the most loyal ...
By the Numbers: MLS playoff teams since All-Star Game    
The MLS All-Star break isn't a "break" in the sense that the MLB All-Star Game is ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives