The North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) named Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi Major League Soccer’s Player of the Month for June today. Zusi recorded game-winning assists in each of Sporting Kansas City’s last three victories, and scored twice in the team’s 4-1 upset at FC Dallas last month.
“Overall, the past month or so we’ve been getting some great results and luckily I’ve been able to help play my part,” Zusi said. “I’m very happy with the way I’m playing right now and I hope that I continue to make an impact for the team in front of all our great fans at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.”
Zusi, 24, had one goal and one assist in his three-year MLS career prior to breaking out in June with two goals and three assists in five starts for Sporting Kansas City, who went 3-0-2 with Zusi in the starting lineup last month. His five-point performance at FC Dallas on June 12th was his first career multi-goal game and his stunning free kick from 45-yards out was nominated for AT&T Goal of the Week.
The Maryland alum, taken in the second round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, continued the offensive contributions at home, providing game-winning assists in back-to-back matches at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. His pass set up CJ Sapong on June 17th in a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes and his corner kick was the catalyst for Julio Cesar’s goal on June 25th in a 2-1 win over the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Zusi's three game-winning assists last month, most in MLS, moves him into second place on the MLS game-winning assist chart, one behind David Beckham, and Zusi now boasts the League's longest active streak for consecutive games with assists, one game shy of the longest run this season.
Sporting Kansas City, unbeaten in their last seven MLS matches, allowed only two goals in Zusi’s five appearances in June.
Zusi becomes the eighth Sporting Kansas City player to be chosen Player of the Month all-time and first since Eddie Johnson in 2007. The MLS Player of the Month is selected after each month by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information can be found at http://www.soccerreporters.com/.
KC All-Time Players of the Month (8)
April 2000: Miklos Molnar
May 2000: Tony Meola
May 2003: Preki
June 2004: Chris Klein
August 2005: Scott Sealy
June 2006: Jose Burciaga Jr.
April 2007: Eddie Johnson
June 2011: Graham Zusi
2011 MLS Players of the Month
May: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
April: Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo)
March: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)