Sporting KC locks up World Cup stars Zusi, Besler

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – Sporting Kansas City has signed U.S. national team stars Graham Zusi and Matt Besler to long-term designated player contracts after both players generated interest from abroad following strong performances at the World Cup.

The team announced the deals before Saturday night’s game against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

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.

Besler also started all four matches for the U.S. at the World Cup. The 27-year-old defender has made 21 appearances for the national team, including all three knockout games on the way to last year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup championship.

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