Sporting KC today announced the contract renewal for Graham Zusi. Zusi's new contract keeps him under contract with Sporting KC through 2017. While it's not a guarantee that Zusi will be with KC that long, it does give KC a bargaining chip when it comes to teams looking to buy Zusi's contract. KC will be able to ask for more if Zusi has himself a good World Cup in 2014.
Zusi's contract does not make him a designated player by name, but he basically is. Zusi will be paid designated player money, but because of Sporting using the new "retention fund" policy, Kansas City was able to get Zusi without making him the team's second designated player.
The question many are asking, what is the "retention fund"? This is a new policy that MLS has recently implemented. Back in April, Kevin Payne from Toronto FC made mention to it in an interview (starts around the 13 minute mark). Basically the new policy is a way for teams to use extra allocation money to re-sign certain types of players. Those types of players have to be younger players, at a certain point in their contract. The idea is to allow teams to sign important, promising players, by offsetting some of the cap hit. That's why Zusi is now making DP money but is not a DP. Certainly a bit confusing, especially without MLS making any announcement about this new "retention fund."
In other news, Sporting KC made one roster move ahead of the July 1st waiver deadline. Players waived before July 1 will not have their full salary count against the cap. Today Sporting KC and defender Yann Songo'o mutually agreed to terminate Songo'o's contract with the team. Songo'o is apparently returning to Spain.
The move is a bit of a surprise. Songo'o has started all but one game for Orlando City as he's been on loan with the USL-Pro side. He led the team in minutes and had scored one goal on the season. By all accounts he'd played well for Orlando and had been solid. With it being a mutual termination, one would assume that part of the reason is that Songo'o wanted to return to Europe as well.
This leaves KC with only two players on loan to Orlando at this time, goalkeeper, Jon Kempin and midfielder, Christian Duke. So Sporting will likely be sending two players down to replace Songo'o and Dom Dwyer. With no other center backs to send down it won't be a like for like swap with Songo'o. With Dwyer, Soony Saad would seem to be the favorite to send down. Other possibilities are Kevin Ellis and Kyle Miller who could both use games.