Matt Besler, Graham Zusi spurn offers overseas, will stay in MLS

By Evan Hilbert | CBSSports.com

matt besler sporting kc
Matt Besler had been linked to several squads overseas. (Getty Images)

After their respective performances at the World Cup in Brazil, both Matt Besler and Graham Zusi were targeted by various European squads. The players announced Saturday, however, that they will remain in the MLS with Sporting Kansas City.

The team announced that both players have agreed to contract extensions.

"Getting these deals completed is extremely beneficial for the organization and the two players," Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said. "Graham and Matt have both proven over the past almost six seasons that they are core players within this club. They have had a tremendous impact on creating a winning culture and these agreements keep us on the path of attaining our goals and expectations. I want to thank the ownership group for their continued vision and commitment to securing both players for the long term."

It was reported Thursday that English Premier League team Sunderland was prepared to make a formal transfer offer for Besler. Besler, who is from the Kansas City area, had said previously that he'd entertain offers from European clubs but preferred to stay in the US.

"This is a dream come to true to know that I'll be playing my whole career in Kansas City," Besler said. "A lot of factors went into this decision, but the ownership and the great fans played a huge part. Now, there is a responsibility to go forward to keep pushing this team farther and farther."

Obviously the deal will benefit Sporting KC, but the MLS as a whole has made gains in recent months.

International stars David Villa and Kaka will be making the move to the league, and native sons Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley have returned, as well.

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