Around the Kingdom: Graham Zusi and Matt Besler, Lorenzo Cain, and Dwayne Bowe


nJul 19, 2014; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi (8) Coach Peter Vermes and defender Matt Besler (5) in press conference announcing new contracts at Sporting Park. Kansas City defeated Los Angeles 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Gary Rohman/Sporting KC-USA TODAY Sports

Graham Zusi and Matt Besler signed new contracts with Sporting KC, despite numerous rumors about international interest in both players.

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I must say, I’m surprised—and gratified—Sporting could hold onto both of their high-profile players. The MLS needs to retain home-grown stars if it is to grow into a high-end league. Holding onto Zusi and Besler after their World Cup performances is a great start.

The Royals have stumbled out of the gate in the season’s second half, losing two straight games to last-place Boston. The Royals have continued their terrible performance in 1-run games this season, falling to 10-20 in such games after their 2-1 loss Saturday night at Fenway Park.

This is not the profile of a playoff team.

I don’t care that David Glass says this is not a make or break season for the Dayton Moore regime. If the Royals fail to make the post-season after 8 years, Moore needs to get shown the door. There aren’t anymore excuses for failure.


  • SportingKC.com – Sporting follows up announcement of new contracts for Graham Zusi and Matt Besler with a 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy at Sporting Park:

"“When you’re making an announcement like that, you don’t want to come in here after the game and be talking about negatives,” Zusi said in a post-match news conference. “I think the win was great for Matt and I in the situation that we were in. It didn’t change the way that we played. I think we came out and played the same way."


"That ingenuity extended to the defense last night. With the Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz at the plate, every team has employed a defensive shift, putting three infielders on the right side and either the third baseman or the shortstop at short. Ned Yost took that defense a step further, putting all four infielders on the right side and daring Ortiz to actually hit the ball to the opposite field."

"Given a chance to hit leadoff due to Aoki’s groin injury, Cain has made the most of his chances. Thus far in the 2014 season, Cain has produced a .315/.351/.479 batting line in 73 at bats as the Royals leadoff hitter. With Gordon’s lack of speed as a concern leading off for the Royals, Cain has fit the job description there as well, stealing five bases in six attempts."

"While the Royals biggest need would seem to be offense, this report is consistent with earlier reports that had the Royals at least exploring the option of trading for pitchers David Price of Jeff Samardzija. The thinking may be that either Danny Duffy or Yordano Ventura may wear down as the season continues, causing them to move to the bullpen. A new starting pitcher can replace them and replace James Shields in 2015 when Big Game James leaves as a free agent."


  • Kansas City Star – NFL teams, including the  Chiefs, targeting tall corners after Seattle’s Super Bowl success:

"“Everybody would like to get longer, taller guys that run 4.4, but there are just not very many humans like that in the world,” Carroll said before the 2014 draft. “So it’s rare when you find them, and then you have to develop the guys. You have to make those guys come to life in your coaching.”"

"What may be Bowe’s biggest asset is the knowledge of the system and the added pieces to the offense. Jeremiah points out the potential of Bowe being more comfortable with the offense, which is certainly fair. What may be more important is the familiarity his teammates have with the offense and Alex Smith’s understanding of how Bowe fits in the scheme."

There you have it KC fans—the news Around the Kingdom.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/nfl/kansas-city-chiefs/article761626.html#storylink=cpy