Armchair Analyst: One big question for Sporting Kansas City

A Big Question: Will they once again push Graham Zusi so high?

Sporting KC put together their best attacking season in club history, and did so in large part because they threw caution to the wind with regard to Zusi's role.

This is ridiculous:

Player Passes, ending in Final Third
Nicolas Lodeiro 926
Maxi Moralez 909
Miguel Almirón 891
Ilie Sánchez 847
Kaku 829
Luciano Acosta 817
Sebastian Blanco 783
Graham Zusi 776
Borek Dockal 774
Federico Higuaín 772
Roger Espinoza 761
Diego Valeri 751
Saphir Taïder 692
Sacha Kljestan 672
Sean Davis 662
Darwin Quintero 628
Benny Feilhaber 609
Carlos Vela 608
Haris Medunjanin 604
Julian Gressel 600
Michael Bradley 589
Harrison Afful 582
Alejandro Bedoya 572
Tyler Adams 560
Diego Fagundez 557

Zusi spent more time in the attacking third than any other defender in the league, by MILES, hitting nearly 200 more final third passes than Harrison Afful (the only other defender who shows up in the top 40). Hell, he spent more time there than most midfielders. With Zusi out there SKC were effectively playing a 3-4-3 in attack.

I think it caught a lot of teams by surprise in 2018. It won't in 2019 after a year's worth of dissecting film.

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