Graham Zusi

Graham Jonathan Zusi[2] (/ˈzsi/; 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.

Graham Zusi
Zusi with United States in 2013
Personal information
Full name Graham Jonathan Zusi
Date of birth (1986-08-18) August 18, 1986[1]
Place of birth Longwood, Florida, United States
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Winger, Right back
Club information
Current team
Sporting Kansas City
Number 8
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2008 Maryland Terrapins 89 (28)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005 Central Florida Kraze 10 (1)
2009– Sporting Kansas City 279 (28)
National team
2012– United States 55 (5)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 20, 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of September 10, 2017

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.[3]

During his college years Zusi also played with Central Florida Kraze in the USL Premier Development League.[4]


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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

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").[8]

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 statistics


As of match played on October 30, 2019.
ClubSeasonMLSPlayoffsOpen CupChampions LeagueTotal
Kansas City Wizards2009 13020150
2010 19110201
Sporting Kansas City2011 3253040395
2012 3252052397
2013 276502030376
2014 255100050315
2015 2521010272
2016 2121010232
2017 2401030280
2018 3423020392
2019 2701050330
Career totals2792817022213033130


International statistics

As of July 28, 2017.
National teamYearAppsGoals
United States

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 January 25, 2012 Estadio Rommel Fernández, Panama City, Panama  Panama
2 October 11, 2013 Sporting Park, Kansas City, United States  Jamaica
2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier
3 October 15, 2013 Estadio Rommel Fernández, Panama City, Panama  Panama
4 March 29, 2016 MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, United States  Guatemala
2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier
5 June 7, 2016 Soldier Field, Chicago, United States  Costa Rica
Copa América Centenario




University of Maryland

Sporting Kansas City



  2. 2013 Gold Cup official roster Archived January 10, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  3. Nancy Hass (April 16, 2013). "Hey Zeus! Graham Zusi & the pressure of replacing US Soccer's best-ever player | OVERLAP Magazine". Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  4. "2005 Central Florida Kraze stats". Archived from the original on October 11, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  5. Archived March 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. Palmer, Tod. "Sporting signs Zusi to extension". Retrieved August 10, 2012.
  7. Bailey, Graeme. "West Ham United have taken American international Graham Zusi on trial". Sky Sports. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  8. Edwards, Andy. ""Saint" Graham Zusi presented with gifts from fans, radio station for sending Mexico to World Cup playoff". Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  9. "Graham Zusi » Club matches". World Football. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  10. "2019 MLS All-Star Roster". Major League Soccer. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  11. Andrew Wiebe (December 20, 2011). "Zusi named MLS Breakout Player of the Year | Sporting Kansas City". Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  12. "Sporting KC announces 2012 team awards | Sporting Kansas City". October 24, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  13. "Sporting KC announces 2013 team awards | Sporting Kansas City". October 19, 2013. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  14. "TSG reveals Gold Cup Best XI".
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