10 facts about West Ham United trialist Graham Zusi

Sam Allardyce

All we can tell you about the highly talented playmaker currently trying to impress Big Sam at Upton Park, plus a look at his infamous free-kick goal against Dallas.

According to reports West Ham United have taken American international Graham Zusi on trial this week with a view to a permanent deal during the MLS off-season. Considered a top talent in American soccer the 26-year-old will be doing everything in his power to impress Sam Allardyce enough to award him with the opportunity to play in the Premier League; subject to negotiations with his club and the MLS.

So what can we tell you about him?

1. As many American soccer stars first start their careers Zusi played college soccer at the University of Maryland for the Maryland Terrapins.

2. While playing for the Terrapins he was a team-mate of ex-Rangers and current Stoke City midfielder Maurice Edu.

3. In his freshman year he also played for Central Florida Kraze of the USL Premier Development League when he visited his hometown of Longwood, FL.

4. He was part of the Terrapins side that won the NCAA Soccer Championship in both 2005 and 2008.

5. In the 2008 edition of the competition Zusi scored the winning goals in both the semi-final and final.

6. During his time at college he played 89 times scoring 28 goals and providing 20 assists. It was these statistics that made him a sure Draft Pick in 2009.

7. He was drafted in the second round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft; 23rd overall by the Kansas City Wizards. After a slow start to his career in the MLS he had a breakout year in 2011 under the team’s new guise Sporting Kansas City.

8. The attacking playmaker led the way in the assist chart of the MLS with 15 overall during the 2012 regular season.

9. He finished third in the MLS Most Valuable Player awards; behind Thierry Henry and Chris Wondolowski.

10. Such good form has seen him make the USMNT throughout 2012 making his debut against Venezuela in January 2012. He scored the winning goal against Panama later that month; his first international goal and only one so far.

He is easily one of the most talented players in the MLS and gained recognition for scoring this stunning free-kick in 2011…

Do you think he has what it takes to play in the Premier League?

images: © Ben Sutherland

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