Graham Zusi battles Kenny Cooper

Graham Zusi named MLS Player of the Week

 Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 23, MLS announced on Monday. Zusi scored twice in Sporting Kansas City’s 3-1 victory over the Portland Timbers last Wednesday and played the full 90 minutes in the club’s 1-0 win against D.C. United last night, as the team moved into second place in the Eastern Conference with nine games remaining.

“This award could have been given to anyone on the team,” Zusi said. “We are playing well, having fun and enjoying our great stadium and crowd. Of course it is nice and humbling to be acknowledged, but this certainly is deserving for all of my Sporting Kansas City teammates and we are excited for the final nine games.”

Zusi’s two-goal performance against the Timbers, his second multi-goal game of the season, gives the third-year pro a career-high five goals this season. He’s also contributed four assists, including three game-winning assists which ranks fourth most in MLS in 2011.

Zusi, named MLS Player of the Month for June, is the second Sporting Kansas City player to earn MLS Player of the Week honors this season, after Designated Player Omar Bravo was recognized in Week 1 upon scoring twice on his MLS debut. Zusi, who celebrated his 25th birthday on Thursday, is also a nominee for MLS AT&T Goal of the Week for Week 23. Voting is conducted online at MLSSoccer.com or fans can also vote for Zusi by texting G1 to 22442.

The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information and membership information can be found at http://www.soccerreporters.com/.

Sporting Kansas City continues their nine-game homestand at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, August 27th against FC Dallas. The first 10,000 fans will receive a complimentary team poster, courtesy of match sponsor Sprint, with an autograph session available following the match.

Tickets are available at the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park Box Offices or online at Ticketmaster.com.

Sporting Kansas City MLS Player of the Week History:

1996 - Preki (Week 8), Mark Chung (Week 12)

1997 - Preki (Weeks 12 & 14)

1998 - Vitalis Takawira (Week 10)

1999 - Chris Klein (Week 19)

2000 - Peter Vermes (Week 10), Tony Meola (Week 15)

2001 - Chris Klein (Week 2), Chris Brown (Week 3)

2002 - Chris Klein (Week 4), Tony Meola (Week 21)

2003 - Chris Klein (Weeks 2 & 27), Preki (Weeks 9 & 12), Igor Simutenkov (Week 15)

2004 - Davy Arnaud (Week 14)

2005 - Josh Wolff (Weeks 7 & 20)

2006 - Scott Sealy (Week 12), Davy Arnaud (Week 24), Josh Wolff (Week 27), Jose Luis Burciaga Jr. (Week 28)

2007 - Eddie Johnson (Weeks 2, 8 & 9), Scott Sealy (Week 24)

2008 - Claudio Lopez (Week 30)

2009 - Josh Wolff (Weeks 5, 9 & 25)

2011 - Omar Bravo (Week 1), Graham Zusi (Week 23)