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Graham Zusi Named 2011 MLS Breakout Player of the Year

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Vision, pace, a cannon right leg... oh, and that head of hair. Yes, it's safe to say life is good for Sporting KC midfielder Graham Zusi.(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Vision, pace, a cannon right leg... oh, and that head of hair. Yes, it's safe to say life is good for Sporting KC midfielder Graham Zusi.(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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MLSsoccer.com has just announced that Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi has been named the 2011 MLS Breakout Player of the Year.

The 25 year old midfielder finished ahead of Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall, and Chicago Fire forward/midfielder Dominic Oduro in the voting, conducted by the editorial staff at MLSsoccer.com.

Zusi finished his third season in Major League Soccer with a number of career bests. The former Maryland Terrapin scored five goals, and contributed seven assists in 2011, while playing in 30 matches (25 started), and logging 2,329 minutes over the course of the regular season.

Compare the number of minutes, goals, assists, etc compared to his first two campaigns in MLS, and it's easy to see why Zusi was named the Breakout Player of the Year. Zusi scored only one goal, and contributed just one assist over the course of his first two seasons with Kansas City. He logged 1,064 minutes during that span.

It's been quite a jump for a player that was once rarely used, but is now quite possibly the most important player on Kansas City's squad.