Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake face off today in Kansas City at 4 p.m. Eastern for the Major League Soccer title. No, the biggest names in North American pro soccer won't be playing. But that's exactly why you should tune in.
Both squads' success in this year's postseason argue against the big spending on so-called "designated players" as found in Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles. Sporting KC and RSL both built teams through depth, not superstars, though there are a few names taking the pitch today that you'll need to know for the future. Chief among these is Graham Zusi, the KC midfielder whose unfortunate stoppage-time goal against Panama made him a hero to Mexico. Zusi's career has continued to trend upward, and he'll have to play a big part in controlling the midfield if the U.S. has any chance next summer in Brazil.