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Graham Zusi: now ready for the spotlight

Los Angeles Galaxy v Sporting Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, KS - APRIL 7: Graham Zusi #8 of the Sporting Kansas City gains control of the ball against A.J. DeLaGarza #20 of the Los Angeles Galaxy at Livestrong Sporting Park on April 7, 2012, in Kansas City, Kansas. Sporting won 1-0. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

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Graham Zusi parlayed a strong January 2012 camp into a position with the United States national team, eventually starting vital World Cup qualifiers in the midfield.

This year’s camp is no different, except that it is. In a video interview with US Soccer, the Sporting Kansas City man talks about his goals for his second time around. One of them -- “To become a little bit more of a leader on the field, and off the field as well.” -- is exactly the type of thing you want to hear from a guy who could play a huge role in 2013 and beyond.

“I think you need to come into camp knowing like you belong here, and acting like that on and off the field,” he says. “I don’t think you can come into camp and be shy and try to hide in the background. Act like you belong, because you do. That will make you feel a lot more comfortable and that will make you play the way you are capable of.”

Spoken like someone who’s been through it all once before. But enough from me. Just watch the clip: