Sporting KC's Graham Zusi's knows offseason loan could happen, but MLS Cup Playoffs come first
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Graham Zusi will start weighing his offseason loan possibilities when the season's over. For now, Sporting Kansas City's star midfielder has his eyes fixed on the MLS Cup final berth that has eluded his club since 2004.
“I don't really have any thoughts on that right now,” said Zusi, one of three players US coach Jurgen Klinsmann said should seek an loan overseas during the MLS break. “There's plenty to be done here. Even they have said, 'Don't focus on anything but your season right now.' I'll deal with it when it comes around. It's something that's in the future.”
Zusi, who has six goals and a team-high eight assists for Sporting this season and two goals for the national team in World Cup qualifying, has already played in 42 matches in 2013 between MLS, international and CONCACAF Champions League action.
If Sporting go all the way to the MLS Cup final, starting with Saturday's East semifinal away leg to New England (8 pm ET, NBCSN), and Zusi keeps his regular spot that will be up to five more appearances.
Down time isn't on the list of things to which he's looking forward, though.
“I think this year, especially with  being a World Cup year, I knew there wasn't going to be much of a break – maybe a week,” he told MLSsoccer.com after Tuesday's training session. “But I think that's a good thing. I definitely don't want to take too much time off and be unfit and unsharp.
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“The way this team views the offseason, every one of us comes back plenty fit,” he added. “That's all I'm thinking about for next year, is coming back in shape. But yeah, if I can get some matches in the offseason, that'll be great.”
“I don't think that discussion should take place about any players at the moment, given the situation that we're all in at the end of the season, with it being playoff time,” manager Peter Vermes said. “That's what MLS is all about: making the playoffs and then going on that MLS Cup run. So right now our focus should be on the clubs, and that's it.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.