Sporting KC re-signs Besler, Zusi to designated player contracts

Sporting Kansas City has signed defender Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi to long-term Designated Player contracts, the team announced.

“Getting these deals completed is extremely beneficial for the organization and the two players,” said Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes. “Graham (Zusi) and Matt (Besler) have both proven over the past almost six seasons that they are core players within this club. They have had a tremendous impact on creating a winning culture and these agreements keep us on the path of attaining our goals and expectations. I want to thank the ownership group for their continued vision and commitment to securing both players for the long term.”

An Overland Park native, Besler became the first player from the state of Kansas to play in a FIFA World Cup when he started all four matches for the United States in Brazil this summer. The 27-year-old centerback debuted for the U.S. in January 2013 and has 21 career international appearances, including all three knockout round games en route to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup title.

Besler has twice collected MLS Best XI (2012, 2013) honors and is a three-time MLS All-Star (2011, 2013, 2014). He was awarded MLS Defender of the Year in 2012 before being named a finalist again in 2013 and collected Sporting Kansas City’s Defensive Player of the Year each of the past three seasons.

He was named captain of the reigning MLS Cup champions prior to the 2014 season and was recognized as the Kansas City Sports Commission Sportsman of the Year in April. Besler has made 147 MLS appearances (including postseason) with two goals and seven assists since being drafted by Kansas City in the first round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft out of Notre Dame.

T-Bones on pace to welcome 3-millionth fan Monday

The Kansas City T-Bones have announced that the club is on pace to welcome its 3-millionth fan during Monday’s game at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.

After the first three games of this six-game homestand, the T-Bones are now 2,865 people away from 3 million. The club’s overall attendance since 2003 is 2,997,135.

The T-Bones begin a three-game series against Grand Prairie on Monday night at 7:05. Based on projections, the 3 millionth fan should be coming through the gates Monday night.

The lucky fan that night, which is being sponsored by 7th Street Casino, will receive prizes including:

* Four (4) T-Bones season tickets for life;
* An autographed, game-used base from CommunityAmerica Ballpark;
* A baseball autographed by T-Bones coach and Royals Hall of Fame player Frank White;
* $300 toward a savings account from CommunityAmerica Credit Union;
* A prize pack from Coca-Cola;
* A phone from Verizon;
* A gift certificate from Danny’s Bar and Grill;
* A one-night stay at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kansas City, Kan.

The T-Bones are offering a special ticket discount — $7 Select Seats — for Monday when fans order online at with the code “3mil” when purchasing tickets. Tickets are available, also, by calling the Providence Medical Center Box Office at CommunityAmerica Ballpark at 913-328-5618.

Winnipeg mashes Barnes, T-Bones

Winnipeg scored six runs with two outs Sunday afternoon, as they cruised to a 9-3 win over Kansas City at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.

The Goldeyes wasted no time scoring in this game, putting three runs on the scoreboard in the first frame against starter Casey Barnes (2-1). Their third run of the inning, an RBI single by Reggie Abercrombie that scored Casey Haerther, came with two outs.

After Barnes retired Winnipeg in order in the second, the Goldeyes went on to score five runs during the next three innings, all with two outs. In the third, Donnie Webb hit a two-run home run. Josh Mazzola did likewise in the fourth. The next inning, Webb scored on another RBI single by Abercrombie. Barnes gave up 12 hits and eight runs in 5 innings.

Nick Hernandez (6-2) pitched well for Winnipeg, picking up the win. He logged 7 2/3 innings, allowed seven hits, three runs (all earned), no walks and struck out five batters.

Robby Kuzdale extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the third inning.

All three of Kansas City’s runs came in the eighth inning. T.J. Mittelstaedt had an RBI single and David Espinosa added a two-run single.

The T-Bones (30-32) lose the series to Winnipeg (39-23) two games to one. Kansas City begins a three-game series with Grand Prairie on Monday at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available by calling the Providence Medical Center Box Office at CommunityAmerica Ballpark at 913-328-5618.

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– Story from T-Bones