Sporting KC Sign Four Key Players To Contract Extensions

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Kansas City, Kan. – Sporting KC have announced that they’ve extended four key players to contract extensions. Matt Besler, Roger Espinoza, and Graham Zusi all had their contracts extended with their current contract running out. Ilie Sanchez rounded out the group of four, but had an option for the next season.

Besler, Espinoza, Ilie, and Zusi sign Contract Extensions with Sporting KC

“We’ve had a very consistent approach in recent years to the way that we’ve formed our roster,” Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said in a press conference on Tuesday.

“Guys who have been around a long time, there is a reason why. They fit into the culture of the club, they fit into the model of play, and they’ve helped the organization get results, and get championships.”

All four players were given multi-year deals, according to Vermes. Last time they gave extensions to the core players for the team, Zusi and Besler signed virtually the same contracts. According to Vermes, this time, all for are varying lengths.

While it had been reported that the contract negotiations were in the works for Zusi, Besler, and Espinoza, the announcement of Ilie’s contract extension brough some surprise due to the fact that it wasn’t as time sensitive as the other three. Zusi, Besler and Espinoza were due to hit MLS free agency this offseason. Vermes explained why they chose to get Ilie’s deal done too.

“Ilie was more of wanting to sign him up long term, just because he had a two year [guaranteed], one year [option] in his old contract and we just felt that he was a player that we wanted around for a long time. We really did a brand new deal with him.” 

Why Stay?

For all four players, there were likely plenty of reasons why they’d want to come back. But here is what they had to say about staying at Sporting KC for the foreseeable future:

  • Graham Zusi:  “The culture that this club, from the ground up that they’ve created is something I want to be a part of. Like a couple of the other guys said, this is something that we’re not looking back on what we’ve done so far. We’re looking forward because we have a lot left to do.”
  • Matt Besler: ” I enjoy it. I feel challenged every day. We can still win every single year, so I want to be a part of it.”
  • Ilie Sanchez: “I think for me, It was the same feeling when I first came here. I also think that the culture that the guys have built for all those years is growing on me. I also think the best years of my career are in front of me and I decided that I wanted to be here with this club.”
  • Roger Espinoza: “I got to see what is out there. I know coming back to Sporting, knowing that the culture and everything was still there, it’s a no brainer to keep going and working hard for these guys, and work for the future.