Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Sporting KC bumps up the ante to keep Zusi -- for now
by Ridge Mahoney, June 28th, 2013 9:57PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls, sporting kansas city

MOST COMMENTED

[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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Video Pick: Soccer meets 'Game of Thrones'     
Does Brek Shea look like Brienne of Tarth? Lionel Messi like Bran Stark? You can be ...
What They're Saying: Jozy Altidore    
"I want to apologize to our fans and my teammates. Emotion got the best of me ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"He used some verbal words. I asked the ref, obviously -- I told the players at ...
Injured Player? Take Safe Steps in the Return-To-Play Decision    
One of the toughest decisions in youth sports is determining when a player who has suffered ...
ESPN2's MLS viewership hits low with Fire game    
For the second straight week, the Chicago Fire drew the lowest viewership for an MLS game ...
Sounders 2 forward Jones named USL Player of the Week    
Seattle Sounders Homegrown signing Darwin Jones was named the USL Player of the Week for the ...
TV Report: MLS adds to international presence    
After deals with Sky Sports (Britain) and Eurosport (Europe), Major League Soccer has signed agreements with ...
USA-Switzerland Player Ratings     
The USA tied Switzerland, 1-1, in Zurich on Tuesday. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann's team took a 1-0 ...
U.S. U-23s fall to Denmark's U-23s    
The U.S. under-23 national team finished with a split of its two games on its European ...
MLS Trade Central: NYCFC adds young Norwegian keeper    
Norwegian goalkeeper Eirik Johansen, who spent time with New York City FC in preseason, has been ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives