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Jimmy Nielsen, Graham Zusi named Sporting KC's top players

Sporting KC's workhorse goalkeeper and reliable midfielder share the team's Most Valuable Player honors.

Jamie Squire

Jimmy Nielsen and Graham Zusi were named Sporting KC's Most Valuable Players for 2012 when the team handed out its annual awards prior to their regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Union at LIVESTRONG SportingPark on Wednesday.

Nielsen was in goal for every minute of Sporting KC's 2012 campaign. The 35-year-old keeper started in the 2012 MLS All-Star Game and set club records for minutes played (2,970) and games started (33). He also posted an MLS-best 15 shutouts and 17 wins, which are both one shy of an MLS single-season record.

Zusi, a midfielder, led MLS players in assists this season with a career-high 15 and set a Sporting KC record with five game-winning assists on the year. He also added five goals and led MLS players with 147 corner kicks – the third-most all-time among MLS players. The 26 year old was an All-Star in 2012 and also made six appearance for the U.S. National Team.