Five years ago on Friday, Steve Zakuani suffered the injury that drastically changed his career.
Zakuani, then with the Seattle Sounders, suffered a gruesome leg break after a Brian Mullan challenge in a match at the Colorado Rapids on April 22, 2011.
One of the most dynamic players in MLS at the time of the tackle, Zakuani was never able to recover his pre-injury form, recording just one goal and five assists in 33 regular season matches in three years with the Sounders and Portland Timbers before retiring following the 2014 season.
Zakuani is now a broadcaster with the Sounders TV crew, a public speaker and a writer (he wrote a book about his recovery process that was published in 2015). He spoke with SoundersFC.com this week about the injury, its aftermath and his desire not to be known as a former Sounder, but for what he’s accomplishing in his life away from the game.
“I’ve been fortunate to find something that I’m enjoying doing now,” he said. “That can give me kind of that buzz or that outlet. But I would love for that day to come when people don’t really thinking about that, they don’t really say ‘former Sounders player.’ When I go speak at places they have to give you a bio so they can introduce you, and I took that out of the bio because I don’t want to say it all the time. If it comes up it’s cool, but author, speaker, let’s talk about that instead of former, former, former.”
“So I want to be known for things I’m doing now, and help people and inspire people. I don’t mind that in Seattle I’m always associated with the Sounders, that’s cool. But eventually, for my own sake, I want to move onto things that have nothing to do with that.”
The full interview is very insightful, and well worth your time. Check it out on SoundersFC.com.