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Vermes confident of keeping Besler and Zusi at Sporting Kansas City

Jul 6, 2014, 1:37 PM EDT

New York Red Bulls v Sporting Kansas City Getty Images

Two of Sporting Kansas City’s own are receiving plenty of accolades after putting in quality performances for the United States at the World Cup.

Matt Besler started all four USMNT games, and the defender’s stock is rising, along with his visibility – he recently made the rounds of the morning talk shows alongside DeAndre Yedlin. Sporting teammate Graham Zusi made three starts and four total appearances for his country in Brazil, making two assists along the way.

The players, both 27, have spent almost their entire senior careers with Kansas City (Zusi made ten appearances with the Central Florida Kraze). And coach Peter Vermes is confident they’ll remain with Sporting KC, even if clubs overseas begin courting the duo:

Obviously, we maybe don’t compare in the fact that we don’t have the same pocketbook they do, because of our salary cap. But outside of that: the facilities, the stadium, the game environment, fans, city to live in – this is the best country in the world, the United States.

Then the final piece that you evaluate when you go somewhere – yeah, maybe I’m going to go somewhere and make some more money, but am I playing on a regular basis? I look at it like this – why would they want to leave? All their success has been found here. Why do you want to move on if you’re here, you make a good living and you have all that opportunity?

Vermes does seem to gloss over what may be the most enticing factor to players looking to move abroad: the money. While it’s nice to think that some players may still hold loyalty to a particular club, the reality is most are tempted by a fatter paycheck – even if it might mean a new city, or less opportunity for playing time.

But perhaps the coach is right. Maybe Sporting Kansas City would be able to hold on to their stars, thanks to the environment they’ve created. What do you think?

  1. lavatomy - Jul 6, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    yeah but if they go to Europe and things aren’t really working out then MLS would offer them an even fatter paycheck just to come back.

  2. mlsinsandiego - Jul 6, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Why are people saying zusi could go to europe, he didn’t do anything in the World Cup. He has nothing special about him, no speed, no trickery ,no flair.if he’s consider a special talent at 27 imagine the rest of the mls talent pool must be like for him to be considered an elite player,

  3. Vnice - Jul 6, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    If they can get a big enough paycheck, one that will ensure their families will be financially established for a while, they should stay. Vermes brings up very good points. And the regular playing time is pretty important if they wish to extend their USMNT careers.

    But, that’s me…I’m big on quality of life vs. income. That’s why I’m a teacher, after all.

  4. bobinkc - Jul 6, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    A lot of it depends on how close to home they want to stay and how badly they actually want to play. Kei Kamara and Roger Espinoza went from SKC to England and both of them have their butts firmly parked on the bench. Look at how many US players have gone to Europe and averaged maybe 20-30 minutes PER SEASON until they came back to the US as designated players.

    Butt parked = Europe

    Playing time = US

    • rafibomb10 - Jul 7, 2014 at 8:46 AM

      Besler is capable of playing in Europe. He is a left footed center back, and they are rare enough. Zusi not so much unless it is with a recently promoted EPL club.

      The problem is Besler is making like $200,000 with Sporting KC. Omar Gonzalez is making almost 2 mil as a DP. I highly doubt Besler is going to take significantly less money to stay at KC vs going to Europe, because I doubt they can pay the same rate Omar is getting. And it is arguable that Besler is better than Omar and deserves more money.

      The MLS will have to change its DP rules sooner rather than later, because it will eventually cost them. Plus it is confusing enough anyway!

      • bobinkc - Jul 7, 2014 at 11:30 AM

        So? SKC is using only one of their DP slots and his butt is parked on the bench because he can’t produce on a regular basis and we have other players that are more productive. I think Matt’s future with SKC is pretty much assured.

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