Zakuani makes emotional return as Sounders top Rapids

ZakuaniReturns (Getty)

On a night when the Seattle Sounders were looking for their first league win in nine matches, the Sounders not only found a way to beat an opponent in league play. They also welcomed back a player who had been sidelined for far too long.

Goals from Alvaro Fernandez and Eddie Johnson provided the difference in a 2-1 Seattle victory at CenturyLink Field on Saturday night, but the story of the night was Steve Zakuani. He returned to action for the first time since 2011,  a stretch of 14 months since having his leg broken by a vicious tackle by Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan.

Zakuani's entered Saturday night's match with Seattle leading 2-1, and while he had some visible rust, he was also very active and put some pressure on Colorado's defense. His return was greeted by deafening applause from the CenturyLink Field crowd.

The Rapids looked to find an equalizer late in the match, but had a goal waved off by an offside call. Replays suggested that Colorado may have had a legitimate gripe about the no-call.

Johnson's goal eventually proved to be the game-winning goal, and after the final whistle blew Zakuani took part in an emotional scene as he traded jerseys with Mullan.

Here are the match highlights:

 

What did you think of the match? Encouraged by Seattle's performance? Disappointed with Colorado's play in the first half? Think the offside call negating a late Colorado goal was a good call?

Share your thoughts below.

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15 Responses to Zakuani makes emotional return as Sounders top Rapids

  1. Sandy Rivers says:

    Johnson penalty and off-side goal cancel each other out. All that remains is #11.

  2. 20 says:

    I’m not convinced that was a penalty. It was very close but I think the defender just nicked the ball.

    Very pleased to see Zakuani though, and I hope Sounders fans will leave Mullan alone from now on. Zakuani holds no grudge against him, so why should the fans? It was a traumatic ordeal for Mullan too, it’s time to move on.

  3. Ivar Clam Man says:

    straight shot

    link to youtube.com

  4. Sandy Rivers says:

    I see it as defender gets ball and then goes through Eddie. In my eyes that’s a penalty, especially since if Eddie doesn’t get taken down he still is favored to get the ball–which was just barely nicked.

    Think there was closure for a lot of Sounders fans with the jersey swap. Steve is just a damn good human being. Celebrate that.

  5. Mike says:

    That’s what fans do, man. Ryan Shawcross will be booed at the Emirates for the rest of his career. Even if the players make amends, the fans have absolutely no obligation to be peaceful.

    On that note, **** Mamadou Diallo.

  6. Big Chil says:

    “legitimate gripe about the no-call”?

  7. WileyJ says:

    +1 lol. Go Stevie “Z” , Go SSFC!

  8. 2tone says:

    Glad to see Eddie Johnson looking like the Eddie Johnson of old. He keeps scoring goals and a USMNT call-up won’t be too far away!

  9. Rich says:

    Players show they have class but fans have the right to show they have none? Good sportsmanship by fans is only wishful thinking I guess. Maybe the alcohol they drink negates rational thinking.

  10. andrew in tally says:

    my feeling exactly. He’d give us an aerial threat that we seem to be lacking up front.

  11. Benjamin C. says:

    I actually think he looks much improved over the Eddie Johnson of old. His work rate up top is much higher and he is running at defenders and playing with his teammates better than I ever recall.

  12. theraccoun says:

    Seriously, EJ looks incredible. If he keeeps it up he should definitely make a return to the USMNT

  13. Andy in Atlanta says:

    All I am going to say to all the long time readers of SBI…

    I told you so… I said long ago even after he kept getting snubbed at Fulham and was loaned out to Preston North End… the guy improved as a player in Europe… now it is finally showing..

  14. Ryan says:

    I was saying the same thing to the know nothings that thought brian ching was a superior player.

  15. Pablo says:

    I thought EJ looked good during his loan spell in Greece a couple of years back, but when given the chance with the NT, showed nothing.

    Findley was chosen for the team over him and Jeff Cunningham for the world cup in the competition to replace Davies. Has Eddie finally turned a corner at 28? Many have always said his greatest drawback was himself and his maturity.