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ProSoccerTalk’s MLS Player of the Week: Sporting KC’s Graham Zusi

May 6, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT

Zusi head shot

Possible reasons why Graham Zusi had such a masterful match, large and in charge of the home team’s attack Sunday as the men of Sporting Park clobbered Chivas USA, 4-0:

  • A big summer is ahead, and Zusi still seems preferred over Landon Donovan as the man along Jurgen Klinsmann’s right side. It’s time to make sure his game is at highest rev.
  • Chivas USA stuck to its 3-5-2 formation. Good for the Goats to go on the road with intent to attack. On the other hand, Zusi and his two fellow forwards in Peter Vermes’ usual 4-3-3 had tons of room in which to operate. And they put it to brilliant use.
  • Kei Kamara is on his way back, which could put a possible squeeze on starting positions around Sporting Park. It seems unlikely that Zusi would move to the bench. Still, athletes are athletes, quite competitive in DNA design. Maybe the man was thinking “statement.”

Or, maybe we don’t look at the reasons. Maybe we just look at Zusi’s performance Sunday at Sporting Park with the proper awe. Aside from running the show, look at the fifth-year pro’s output:

It included a goal and an assist in the weekend’s showpiece win around MLS. Plus, it was Zusi’s wonderful through ball that sprang Paulo Nagamura in the second half, forcing a trip from Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy that turned into a controversial red card, which effectively sealed the deal for SKC.

His goal was just a solid finish, the final product of a smart run, the reward for being willing to make the hard run at the right time. The real work, however, was in Zusi’s larger body of work.

Here’s the ball out of midfield for Nagamura that help finish off Sunday’s visitors, who were already weary and wobbling by this point.

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