Sporting KC Defender Graham Zusi Named To 2019 MLS All-Star Fan XI Presented By Target


Zusi ties club record with seventh career MLS All-Star selection; All-Stars to face Atletico Madrid on July 31 in Zusi's hometown of Orlando

Courtesy of Sporting Kansas City

(June 18, 2019) — Sporting Kansas City announced today that defender Graham Zusi has been named to the 2019 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target.

Zusi receives MLS All-Star recognition for the seventh time in his heralded career, tying club legend Preki for the most in Sporting history. The right back lands All-Star accolades for the third straight year, having earned his first four nods from 2012-2015. His seven All-Star selections since 2012 are the most in Major League Soccer.

Kids surprise Zusi at Children’s Mercy: PHOTOS | VIDEO

Since joining the club in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Maryland, Zusi has helped Sporting to three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles (2012, 2015, 2017), the 2013 MLS Cup and an eight-year playoff streak that began in 2011. The versatile veteran-who has transitioned from central midfielder to winger to right back during his tenure in Kansas City-was selected to the MLS Best XI in 2012 and 2013 after being named the 2011 MLS Breakout Player of the Year.

Zusi has amassed 31 goals and 80 assists in 312 competitive appearances for Sporting, ranking second on the team’s all-time charts in assists and games played. He has assisted two goals and started 16 of 17 appearances this season in all competitions, including five starts in Sporting’s run to the 2019 Concacaf Champions League Semifinals.

On the international stage, Zusi has recorded five goals and seven assists in 55 career caps for the United States Men’s National Team. He debuted for the U.S. in 2012 and tallied two assists at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, where he played all four games and helped the Americans reach the Round of 16. Zusi also represented his country at the 2016 Copa America Centenario and the 2015 and 2017 Concacaf Gold Cups, winning the continental championship two years ago alongside Sporting teammate Matt Besler.

The 2019 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target will take place in Zusi’s hometown of Orlando, Florida, pitting the MLS All-Stars against 10-time Spanish champions Atletico Madrid on July 31 at Exploria Stadium. The summer showcase will kick off at 7 p.m. CT, airing live on FS1 and UniMas in the U.S. and across more than 170 countries globally.

The 2019 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target will be unveiled in its entirety on Friday. Ten of the 11 players on the Fan XI were determined via fan voting online at and through the MLS app. The final spot was decided through the EA SPORTS “More Than a Vote” Challenge.

The 2019 MLS All-Star gameday roster will be announced at a later date. MLS Commissioner Don Garber will select two players to join the roster, while the to-be-determined MLS All-Star head coach will round out the squad with picks from a pool of players nominated by the media. The All-Star head coach will also pick the starting XI for the match against Atletico Madrid.

The 2019 All-Star Game will mark the 16th time that an elite international club has faced the MLS All-Stars. Atletico becomes the second La Liga side to appear in the event after crosstown rivals Real Madrid headlined the 2017 edition in Chicago. The All-Stars have also faced top teams from England’s Premier League, Italy’s Serie A, Germany’s Bundesliga, Mexico’s Liga MX and the Scottish Premiership, compiling an 8-4-3 record against some of the world’s most decorated clubs.

Tickets for the 2019 MLS All-Star Game are available for purchase at

Sporting KC MLS All-Star History

Year All-Stars
1996 Preki
Mo Johnston
Vitalis Takawira
1997 Preki (2)
Mo Johnston (2)
Vitalis Takawira (2)
Mark Chung
Richard Gough
1998 Preki (3) 
Mo Johnston (3)
Uche Okafor
1999 Preki (4)
Alexi Lalas
2000 Preki (5)
Chris Henderson
Matt McKeon
Tony Meola
Peter Vermes
2001 Matt McKeon
2002 Preki (6)
Tony Meola (2)
Mike Burns
Chris Klein
2003 Preki (7)
Chris Klein (2)
2004 Chris Klein (3)
Jimmy Conrad
Josh Wolff
Kerry Zavagnin
2005 Chris Klein (4)
Jimmy Conrad (2)
2006 Jimmy Conrad (3)
Jose Burciaga, Jr.
2007 Jimmy Conrad (4)
Kevin Hartman
Eddie Johnson
2008 Jimmy Conrad (5)
2009 Jimmy Conrad (6)
Davy Arnaud
2010 Jimmy Nielsen
2011 Matt Besler
Omar Bravo
2012 Jimmy Nielsen (2)
Roger Espinoza 
Aurelien Collin
Kei Kamara
Graham Zusi
2013 Matt Besler (2)
Aurelien Collin (2)
Graham Zusi (2)
2014 Matt Besler (3)
Aurelien Collin (3)
Graham Zusi (3)
Dom Dwyer
2015 Matt Besler (4)
Graham Zusi (4)
Benny Feilhaber
2016 Matt Besler (5)
2017 Graham Zusi (5)
2018 Graham Zusi (6)
2019 Graham Zusi (7)
Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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