By TATE STEINLAGE
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Graham Zusi and Matt Besler are fine calling Kansas City home.
Ahead of its home match against the LA Galaxy Saturday, Sporting Kansas City announced that both Zusi and Besler have signed Designated Player contracts to stay with the club long term. Additional terms of the new contracts were not disclosed.
“Getting these deals completed is extremely beneficial for the organization and the two players,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said in a release. “Graham (Zusi) and Matt (Besler) have both proven over the past almost six seasons that they are core players within this club. 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.
“I want to thank the ownership group for their continued vision and commitment to securing both players for the long term.”
Both Besler and Zusi have been linked to possible deals in Europe, with the former linked directly to Fulham and Sunderland as two of at least 10 clubs in England and Germany bidding for his talents.
“This is a dream come true to know that I’ll be playing my whole career in Kansas City,” Besler said. “A lot of factors went into this decision, but the ownership and the great fans played a huge part. Now, there is a responsibility to go forward to keep pushing this team farther and farther.”
“This is where I have always wanted to be,” Zusi echoed in the release. “I would like to thank Peter Vermes and the Sporting Club ownership for working with me toward this long-term contract and I look forward to continuing my career in the best stadium in MLS in front of the best fans in MLS. I have always respected players who have played their entire career with one team and I look forward to a long career in Kansas City.”
Besler and Zusi have amassed four MLS Best XI awards and six MLS All-Star selections between the two of them. The defender and midfielder joined the league together in 2009 and spent their rookie year together staying at Besler’s parents home in Overland Park, Kan.
With the move, Sporting KC has filled its allotted three Designated Player spots with Besler and Zusi joining forward Claudio Bieler.
What do you think of the move? Is this a good career move for Besler and Zusi to stay in Kansas City for the long term?
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