The MLS All-Star and U.S. national team winger re-signed with the club Friday, reaffirming his commitment to Sporting KC despite a rise stardom that has made him an attractive option for clubs overseas. Zusi, who was on trial with West Ham in January, has become one of the more consistent stars in MLS and was a league Best XI performer and MVP finalist a season ago.
He had an MLS-best 15 assists in 2012, and he has gotten off to a strong 2013 campaign as well, with three goals and five assists in 14 games. His play has catapulted him to the top of Jurgen Klinsmann's U.S. national team depth chart as well, as he has started six of the last seven games (including four World Cup qualifiers) for which he has been eligible.
"Graham has become an integral part of our club and league over the past five years and we look forward to his contributions for years to come," Sporting KC CEO Robb Heineman said in a statement. "We are committed to bringing championships to Kansas City, and that effort is reflected in assuring that the best playmaker in Major League Soccer remains here. As we have said in the past, guys who play consistently well over time here will be rewarded and that certainly is the case with Graham."
Terms of Zusi's latest deal were not disclosed by the club. His latest raise for the contract he signed in February 2012 had put his 2013 guaranteed compensation at $173,821.50, according to MLS Players' Union documents.
"Kansas City is like home for me and I am excited to be able to continue playing for this outstanding club, fans and city," Zusi said. "Our goal is to win championships, and I will do whatever it takes to achieve that with this team."