Graham Zusi


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1986 (33 years old)

Birth Place
Longwood, Florida, United States

Right Back

Team Number

1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)





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Sporting Kansas City

2nd Team

American Major League Soccer

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Graham Jonathan Zusi (/ˈzuːsi/; born August 18, 1986) is an American soccer player who currently plays as a midfielder or defender for Sporting Kansas City and the United States national team.

Early life
Zusi was born on August 18, 1986. Zusi graduated from Lake Brantley High School.

Zusi played college soccer at the University of Maryland, College Park. During his college career, Zusi played in 89 games, recording 28 goals and 20 assists, and helped Maryland win the National Championship in 2005 and 2008, scoring the game-winning goal in the 2008 National Semi-Final and Championship Games. He graduated with a degree in criminology.

During his college years Zusi also played with Central Florida Kraze in the USL Premier Development League.

Zusi was drafted in the second round (23rd overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by the Kansas City Wizards. He made his professional debut on March 21, 2009, in Kansas City's first game of the 2009 MLS season against Toronto FC.

Zusi enjoyed a breakout season in 2011 helping the renamed Sporting Kansas City franchise to an Eastern Conference championship and earning a call-up to the U.S. national team. His efforts were rewarded by Sporting with a new four-year contract announced on February 16, 2012. In the 2012 season he led the league in assists with 15.

During the 2012–13 offseason, Zusi trialed with English Premier League side West Ham United.

Zusi returned to SKC and became a converted right-back, earning MLS All Star selections in 2016, 2017, and 2018, while helping guide SKC to the 2017 U.S. Open Cup Title.

International career
On January 21, 2012, Zusi made his debut for the senior side of his country (as a starter) in a 1–0 win over Venezuela in a friendly match. On January 25, 2012, Zusi scored his first international goal in the ninth minute against Panama in a 1–0 victory. Zusi was named to the national team's Hexagonal roster for the February 6, 2013 match against Honduras; he entered the game as a second-half substitute.

On October 15, 2013, Zusi scored a stoppage-time equalizer against Panama in a World Cup qualifier. Though the United States had already qualified, Zusi's goal meant that Mexico would advance to the next round at Panama's expense. As a result, a group of Mexico fans later presented Zusi with a framed photo and plaque with the words San Zusi ("Saint Zusi").

On June 16, 2014, in the United States' first game in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Zusi provided the assist from a corner kick for John Brooks' game-winning goal in the 2–1 victory against Ghana. On June 22, 2014, in the United States' second game in the World Cup, Zusi provided the assist for Clint Dempsey's goal in the 2–2 draw against Portugal.

On March 29, 2016, after two years without scoring for the U.S. national team, he scored the fourth goal against Guatemala in the U.S.'s campaign to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

On June 7, 2016, Zusi scored a late goal after being substituted in for the U.S. national team to put them up 4–0 against Costa Rica in the Copa América Centenario. This goal made the 4–0 win over Costa Rica the largest victory against Costa Rica in history for the U.S. national team.

On October 10, 2017, the United States lost 2-1 against Trinidad and Tobago on their last qualifying match for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, eliminating them from the tournament for the first time since 1986, ironically thanks to a late goal by Panama, the same team Zusi helped eliminate from the 2014 World Cup. Zusi has not returned to the team since.

Career Honours
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