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MLS Ticker: Besler, Zusi deals revealed; Beasley not ready for USMNT retirement; and more

Matt Besler

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When Matt Besler and Graham Zusi signed Designated Player contracts with Sporting Kansas City, it represented a landmark deal for the club and Major League Soccer.

However, the deals were also a great piece of business for Sporting KC and owner Robb Heineman.

According to a report from Sports Illustrated, both Besler and Zusi signed nearly identical five-year guaranteed contracts to stay with Sporting KC. Both players will earn a prorated base salary of $600,000 in 2014, $650,000 in 2015, $700,000 in 2016, $725,000 in 2017, and $750,000 in the final year of their deal, in 2018. The deal includes incentive bonuses as well for winning MLS Cup or scoring individual awards such as MLS Defender of the Year.

The deals are worth much less than the $1.25 million in guaranteed compensation that U.S. Men’s National Team centerback Omar Gonzalez earns with the LA Galaxy.

In addition, the report states that new Houston Dynamo Designated Player signing DaMarcus Beasley will earn a base salary of $750,000 in his contract this season.

Here are some more notes from around MLS:


DaMarcus Beasley may be 32 and towards the tail-end of his career, but he’s still prepared to contribute for both club and country.

Ahead of his first match since signing as a Designated Player with the Houston Dynamo, Beasley told reporters that he was still open to playing for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the future.

“I’m still available until Jurgen [Klinsmann, US head coach] tells me or doesn’t call me in,” Beasley told reporters after training on Thursday. “I’m sure if it did go [that way] that I’ll have a chat with Jurgen and get his thoughts on how long or how he sees a fit or if he watches my games or what he thinks. I’m still available; I’m not retiring anytime soon.”

Beasley, who played in his fourth World Cup this summer as a left back after re-inventing himself, will be 36-years old when the next World Cup comes around. However, there’s still a number of tournaments he could play a key role on, such as the Gold Cups in 2015 and 2017 as well as the announced Copa America Centenario in 2016.

At the end of the day, I want to play at the highest level for as long as possible,” Beasley said. “I’m not going to give that position away easily. I’m gonna fight until my legs can’t run, until Jurgen says we’re going another way.

“If Jurgen sees me in 2018 that I’m still the left back of the U.S. national team then great, but I’m realistic and know the quality we have in this country.”


The San Jose Earthquakes will be without one of their best players for the better part of the next two months.

Earthquakes head coach Mark Watson confirmed after training on Thursday that Clarence Goodson would miss at least eight weeks with a left toe injury. According to Watson, Goodson will spend the next four weeks with the toe immobilized in order for it to heal and then the following month working to regain his fitness and match sharpness.

“We’ve been told eight weeks for the isolation and the rehabilitation side combined,” Watson told reporters.

Goodson has only played 10 matches this season due to a number of niggling injuries, the toe one being the latest. Though he started on July 11 in the Earthquakes 2-1 defeat to D.C. United, he’s missed four of the last five matches with a “sprained left big toe.”


FC Dallas defender George John’s season is over.

The club announced on Thursday that the veteran centerback underwent a successful operation on his right knee and was placed on injured-reserve, ending his season before it was able to begin. John had been trying to recover from knee problems all year and did not make a single appearance in 2014.

According to a club release, Dr. Michael Nguyen of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital “performed an osteoplasty of the medial femur to repair the knee.”

In addition, FC Dallas placed Hendry Thomas on the season-ending injured reserve list. Thomas suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament on July 9 in a U.S. Open Cup match against the Carolina RailHawks.


FC Dallas have signed one of the USA’s most promising prospects.

Seventeen-year-old winger Coy Craft has been signed as FC Dallas’ 12th Homegrown Player, and is eligible for selection immediately. The Glade Spring, Virginia native joined the FC Dallas academy in 2011 and starred for the FC Dallas U18s to win their fifth straight U.S. Soccer Development Academy Texas/Frontier Division title.

“We brought Coy [Craft] into the Academy in 2011 and the coaches did an excellent job fostering his talent to get him to this next level,” FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja said in a statement. “He’s athletic, but he also has good technical ability. He’s been earning more and more opportunities with the youth national teams and we’re excited to see his potential realized as he continues to mature.”



What do you think of this news? Impressed that Sporting KC signed both Zusi and Besler to deals worth less than $1 million per year? Do you expect Klinsmann to continue to call-up Beasley? How big of a loss to the Earthquakes is Goodson?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. About the kinda cash I expected for both of them. At the very least it’s guaranteed cash and this is good for MLS and their PR

    would have loved to see both go to Europe. could be earning 1 million a year in England

  2. Its kind of funny how Beasley is treated like he’s so much older then everyone else. He’s like 6 months younger then Jones, and Brad Davis, a month younger then Beckerman and Landon. Just a year older then Wondo and Dempsey. I’m not saying any of those guys will be in the team 4 years from now but it’s also not so crazy if he was.

  3. I wonder if we can expect the “he didn’t want to challenge himself in Europe” drumbeat for Besler that we constantly got for Donovan.

      • If that’s the consensus on Donovan, I’m just wondering if people will decide the same is true of Besler.

      • So his choice does not meet your narrow criteria and now he has a major character flaw?

        The guys came out of nowhere and earned his way into a World Cup where he earned the respect and admiration of many who know more about the sport than you – yeah, no ambition.

        Fear of failure? What on Earth does that even mean?

        This is such a ridiculous statement based on a rather poor and overworked argument.

      • Fear of failure. He’s afraid to challenge himself at a higher level out of fear he will not succeed and thus be exposed. This describes Donovan to a T. And it goes a long way to explain Besler’s odd decision to turn down the EPL and what would have been twice the wages he’s on now.

      • B-

        “Fear of failure. He’s afraid to challenge himself at a higher level out of fear he will not succeed and thus be exposed.”

        Pro athletes especially high profiles ones, like guys who start every game for their national team in the World Cup, are as afraid of failure as the next guy. They are just better at dealing with it than guys like you. And before you tell me I don’t know you I know you as well as you know Besler or for that matter Landon.

        “This describes Donovan to a T. And it goes a long way to explain Besler’s odd decision to turn down the EPL and what would have been twice the wages he’s on now.”

        Besler’s decision is only odd to those who think money is the only factor in career decisions.

        Besler is charting a career path that makes sense to him. It doesn’t make sense to you but why should Besler care what you think? Are you going to be a part of his life after his playing days are over?

        As for his USMNT future I have two names for you, Eddie Pope and Kyle Beckerman.

        The same thing with Landon. In the interest of full disclosure, I think LD is a self centered, slightly delusional, spoiled diva which is about normal for a guy in his situation. I’m not a fan of his but credit should be given where it is due. And you seem to think he is a coward something the man is definitely not.

        He charted a path for himself where he made a lot of money, lived in a place where he had family and friends and apparently loves, got to play at the premier event in the world in his profession every four years three times. An event that many great players never get to more than once. Some never even get there. And he got to be indispensable to the health of soccer in the US and became the face of his game to his country for nearly a decade and helped promote the game from a niche sport to the much healthier position it holds now.

        I mean, what’s not to like? That he didn’t do it your way?

      • yep, ambitionless leader in goals scored for country, MLS face for a decade, thorn in arch rival Mexico’s side forever (as recently as last September for Jurgen), etc.

        both he and Besler like their lives in America. It’s not difficult to understand. Each development path is its own for each player, not some cookie cutter path the same for all. I appreciate the beauty in that truth while it appears lost on many

      • Here we go… excellent comment. Donovan is a tougher read by nature, but setting that aside it’s just obvious that Besler enjoying everything in his world right now… an exceptinally happy man right now. This is going great for him and that’s all anybody needs to know. We should all have that feeling!

  4. I would like to know if there is a transfer fee escape clause. So if some team wants to buy MB the league has to let him go if the transfer value is met.

    • Would you rather make $750k on a team that won it all and is contending to win it all again.

      Or $1 million on a low level EPL team that will never win in his lifetime ?

      That team will most likely lose most of their games, his teamates that are going nowhere in their careers will mail in their effort starting around Christmas and he will look like a schmuk when they give up too many goals.

      I could keep going, but I am getting so depressed a million dollars couldn’t dig me out.
      Jozy must be so jazzed to try to not lose 20 games this year !!!

      • + 1

        People make it seem like the difference between what he signed on for and what he could have made (in their imaginations) equals take home money.

        The man is playing the sport he loves at home and getting paid. What else do you want? Tell you what when he comes by your house to beg for cash then you can talk about his economic decisions.

      • I think that there are tax implications as well as cost of living as well. Maybe $1 in Europe gets you less than $600-$750k in KC.

      • +Yes. Is there a financial argument here? Sure… it’s material and you could demonstrate it from an accounting sense. Probably Besler would have an inside laugh.. he is only just getting comfortable with the possibility of accumulating meaningful wealth from soccer earnings at all. Throw it on the list of “high class problems” that have started popping up for him since he turned the corner– and file it somwhere irrelevant because Matty B. don’t care.

        But of all the transactions we’ve seen come in for evaluation on SBI recently, I’d say the (direct) financial motivation here is among the least significant in the player’s process, and has likely been settled by new arrangement and compensation from KC. Besler has stayed a course because he believed this day would come.

        Move abroad? What? Now? Besler is quite frankly living the dream on every possible front after a very long and patient wait, hurtling toward a life orgasm of such proportions that you and I needn’t contemplate it and should probably just keep a safe disance The guy obviously loves Kansas City. Paid his dues, accepted sacrfices to get his looks there. Now he is a leader, MLS Cup Champion. USMNT first choice. Popular with everyone, and visibly appreciative of what has happened in his life and the opportunities that he is at last seeing in the game. His time at the top may not be all that long given his late spurt– I think he should enjoy every second because it seems to inspire him

        Why would we ever drag this guy away from this great and happy place to go to a monument to human suffering like Sunderland? Development? What kinds of return do we get from sending a 27 year old senior player to an ugly, unstable side cobbled together from entitled A-list rejects, people Roy Keane knows and by definition despises deeply, loan players who are certainly living out of their suitcases, and the discarded partial abortions that have been the priimary work output of England, Scotland, and Ireland development programs over the past decade. And of course Lee Cattermole, the stale belch that has lingered that ties the whole experience together. Please. All Besler will learn at Sunderland is how to approach a season with hopeless resignation and share blame with people who are not worth his time. as well as 5-10 managers who will perceive him as dead wood for predictable reasons at each turn.

        Besler’s techincal shortcomings won’t fixed without a time machine. His touch is heavy and his distribution is not elegant. These qualities are cultivated over countless hours in the youth stage. This will not be fixed when they hand him a filthy mop and stick him in a rotating cast of failures for a Sunday sheallacking at Old Trafford. His confidence will take a beating and that’s about it

        Besler should do whatever he wants with his life, which he has to this point anyway. The Matt Besler Plan for the Development of Matt Besler seems to be hitting stride. I see no reason to tinker with it.

      • Yeah they are (in most leagues I know off). When people complained MB was making 1.8mill Euros a yeat at Roma that was really really about 2.5mil post tax. In NY, that would be about 4.5/4.8 million a year pre tax.

      • NO ONE MAILS IN THEIR EFFORT IN THE EPL(if they want to keep playing). NO ONE. I guess you haven’t heard of relegation?

        It’s MLS players that most likely mail it in when they are either coasting into the playoffs or already eliminated.

        And the answer to your question. The EPL at $1 mil all day long. There’s more to play for than just the EPL title.There’s the FA Cup and League Cup, both of which are more prestigious than the MLS Cup

      • seems to me stuck in the middle of the table teams that are safe from relegation but have no hope of qualifying for CL, etc. face similar coasting opportunities.

        what keeps all of the players playing hard in any league is the threat of losing your spot on your team, getting dropped, etc.

        effort is not a problem in MLS…TONS of that B-

      • Jimmy Conrad (as well as several other players) have said that players coast in the MLS during the regular season and turn it on come playoff time. This isn’t surprising considering it happens in just about every sport that uses playoffs to determine a champion.

      • it happens in ALL leagues B-

        that’s the point, you don’t want to look at it…ok, message received

        in your opinion, it happens only in MLS

        and dream on

      • excuse me, I misread your post

        but doesn’t change my point…it happens in ALL leagues for one reason or another

      • that is not true. we know for a fact they agreed personal terms, at $1.2M, but the hold up was transfer fee.

    • I don’t know why people persist with this Besler is better than OG business.

      Which player is indispensable to his MLS team? OG
      Which player has actually got to move Europe? OG
      Which player got trucked by Lukaku on the world stage? Besler
      Which player has a better CB on his own squad? Besler

      • I would take OG over Besler.

        OG will solve the mental lapses and he is a force already.

      • It’s debatable I suppose, but you could also say:

        Which player is captain of his MLS club? Pretty indispensable if you ask me.

        Which player was indispensable to the national team at the World Cup? Granted, Gonzo was coming off an injury, but it was Besler that started every match.

        The move to Europe point carries no weight for me. Omar got a short term Loan to Nuremberg and got injured immediately, so he’s never actually done anything in Europe…yet. Besler chose SKC over permanent transfer offers to Europe rather than a short loan like Gonzo had. And it’s the second time he’s had interest from Europe, since there were multiple teams interested in him in 2012 as well.

        Name a player that couldn’t “get trucked” by Lukaku. Besides, it’s not like we haven’t seen Gonzo get spun like a top or lose his man several times against lesser competition.

        So Collin is better than Besler? He’s good by MLS standards, but not better IMO. He’s played for a handful of mediocre European clubs (failing to impress multiple other mediocre clubs on trial along the way) and found a home as a good partner to Besler in KC.

        Just saying… Gonzo and Besler are different. I’d take Besler anyday, but I agree a case can be made for Gonzo and he did well when he got the chance in Brazil.

      • Its hard to say, Besler has a lot of good games. And Omar can play well but then has a mistake that messed things up. And then sometimes Omar will look like the best defender in the world (vs Mexico). And Collin is probably the best defender in the league

    • I think Omar just was a at a better place with the negotiations. The LAG really needed him and Omar had a lot of interest at the time which gave him more bargaining leverage, I personally think Omar is better but not by the amount he is getting paid in excess of MB.

    • There’s also something to be said for cost of living. I’ve never lived in KC, but I live in LA, and I’m fairly certain what I pay for my 2 bedroom condo would get me some land and a nice house in KC.


      • yeah no joke. Besler has a quote saying he took into consideration all the facilities, quality of life, etc. that he has at KC. so it wasn’t only about the contract value.

      • Omar has the bigger upside in both potential and sell price down the road. Hence the bigger deal. Plus LA are a richer team.

        I’m disappointed in Besler. I really wanted him to push his abilities past where they are now. He’s a quality player, but I don’t think he’ll get much better. Guys like Packwood and Brooks should surpass him easily in the next four years. He’s just too much of a homebody like Donovan.

        I’ve never been a big fan of Zusi so I don’t care where he ended up. He’s limited and will be pushed out by 2018 as well.

      • “I’m disappointed in Besler. I really wanted him to push his abilities past where they are now. He’s a quality player, but I don’t think he’ll get much better.”

        Staying at SKC is not the same as staying at Chivas USA or the Union.

        Besler is 27, actually a bit older than Mikey de La TFC.

        He isn’t going to improve dramatically by uprooting his life and moving to Sunderland. I’ve been to KC and I’ve been to England so I have a hard time faulting Besler.

        And before you write him off I give you MLS lifer Kyle, 32 year old Beckerman who everyone, including me, said would be a great player if he had any skill or talent.

        Playing for RLS or SKC is just different.

      • re:USMNT career, got to believe Besler believes:
        1. JK has only 1 spot for left footed CBs
        2. JK will favor JB regardless @which club MB plays, even if he did improve dramatically.

      • Ironically, this is as correct as it is irrelevant. Besler is not in the side because of weird political maneuvering. He is the anti-Adu… he climbs up the trunk and doesn’t jump from branch to branch because the winds seemed to have changed. He believes himself to be the best defender in the side and quite frankly he is right. Somebody wants his spot, they’ll have to prove they are better and take it from him. JK won’t strip a leader and winner like Besler because some unproven dude had a sexy transfer.

      • Omar may make more but I can guarantee you that $600-700K in KC gets a lot more than $1.25M in LA. The cost of living between the two cities is night and day. So yeah, Omar may significantly more than Zusi and Besler, I’d venture to say they live a little more comfortably in KC than Omar does in LA.

      • Yeah? Well just so you know granting things that kind of perspective is forbidden around these parts.

        I like how folks are disappointed in how another human being chooses to live his life. The argument made is going to Europe will make him automatically better than he is right now. The thing is, he’s really good right now – even to the point where he’s gained recognition for his peers (something that holds more weight than what any of us can offer on here).

        He was goo enough to make the team a few moths ago and he’ll be good enough to make it in a few years as well.

        Money isn’t everything. He goes over there and makes a lot of money (pays more taxes so who knows what take home would be) but plays on a crappy team of finds that his family is super unhappy because they live in some place they hate. Oh yeah…take the money.

      • Uh oh, any comment that could even potentially be construed as a shot at JK or a member of his family will earn venom from the the fanboys.

    • Just like almost every other job in this country, new employees come in at relatively more than promoted or existing employees.


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