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Sporting KC announces roster moves; declines contract options for veterans Graham Zusi, Roger Espinoza

Graham Zusi
Posted at 1:30 PM, Dec 01, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sporting Kansas City announced several roster moves Friday, including the future of team veterans Roger Espinoza and Graham Zusi, among others.

The team announced it has declined contract options for Espinoza, Zusi, Kortne Ford and Felipe Gutierrez.

Zusi has spent his entire 15-year career with the club, while Espinoza played for the team for 14 seasons.

MLS Sporting KC Rapids Soccer
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi in the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, March 4, 2023, in Commerce City, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Both players were on the roster for Open Cup title runs in 2012, 2015 and 2017. Zusi was also on the club for its 2013 MLS Cup title.

Zusi is the club’s all-time leader in appearances, starts and minutes and ranks second in assists and total goal contributions.

Roger Espinoza
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza (15) during the second half of an MLS soccer match against Atlanta United, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022, in Atlanta. Atlanta United won 3-1. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

Espinoza is second in club history in appearances and minutes. His 49 assists rank him as fifth in club history.

Manager Peter Vermes is expected to address the roster moves at a news conference Friday afternoon.

Sporting KC announced it exercised contract options for eight players as part of Friday’s roster moves: Stephen Afrifa, Willy Agada, Robert Castellanos, Jake Davis, Danny Flores, Chris Rindov, Johnny Russell and Remi Walker.

The club made a bona fide offer to Gadi Kinda, while Cam Duke and Kendall McIntosh are now out of contract with the club.

Sporting now has 24 players under contract for the 2024 season:

Goalkeepers: Tim Melia, John Pulskamp
Defenders: Jake Davis, Robert Castellanos, Andreu Fontas, Tim Leibold, Logan Ndenbe, Kayden Pierre, Chris Rindov, Dany Rosero and Robert Voloder
Midfielders: Ozzie Cisneros, Danny Flores, Felipe Hernandez, Nemanja Radoja, Erik Thommy and Remi Walter
Forwards: Stephen Afrifa, Willy Agada, Alan Pulido, Johnny Russell, Daniel Salloi, Khiry Shelton and Marios Tzionis.