All came to the Kansas City Wizards as MLS SuperDraft picks, all blossomed with the rebranded Sporting Kansas City, and all three elected either to sign new deals or extensions with the club within the last 13 months.
But signing Myers to a new contract represents more than Sporting's commitment to retaining the players they nurtured from draftees into key starters, manager Peter Vermes said.
“It's not only the club's commitment,” Vermes said during a conference call on Thursday, after the right back signed his new contract and joined the club for their spring camp in Tucson, Ariz. “It's the players' commitment, as well. They realize they're in the best place for them. A lot of these guys have achieved a lot of their success as professional players here with the club, and they've found a good fit.
“I think that's why they re-signed. But it is our intention, as it is going forward, that we have that consistency with the core group.”
Myers, who re-upped with the defending MLS Cup champions shortly after coming home from his first camp with the US national team, agreed.
“It's a testament to what the guys have built here – the owners and the coaching staff,” he said. “You can see this aura around the guys, how much they love being here. You talk to guys around the league that we play against, and a lot of them would love to play here one day as well. That's a testament from everything that we've built from the ground up. It's the coaching staff, it's our style of play, it's our fan base, it's the amenities we have. It all comes together.”
Myers, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 SuperDraft, had interest from other clubs during the offseason but declined to say which ones. He said Thursday that he hoped all along to be back in Kansas City but didn't want to work out a deal while he was in Brazil training with the national team.
“The lines of communication were a little difficult, being in a foreign country,” he said. “I just wanted to wait and focus on being with the national team for a while, and then come back here and iron out the details. That's why it took so long.”
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Myers' return keeps intact a back four – along with left back Seth Sinovic and center backs Besler and Aurelien Collin – that has been the league's stingiest in goals allowed over the past two seasons.
“It's not just that,” he said. “It's the guys ahead of us, too. It's just a great group of guys, and I'm happy to be back.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.