Final Blog

Well as many of you who follow my career know, yesterday – Sunday September 2nd 2012 – was a huge day for me. It was the first time I’ve been in the starting 11 for our team in 500 days.

500 days, 5 surgeries, extensive rehab and physical therapy, but that’s all behind me now and I’m more or less back to my old self, although it’ll still take time to get myself fit enough to be able to play a full game every week, and I also need to time to find my best form and consistency. But having come this far, I’ve got no doubt that I’ll do that too.

I’m writing this from 30,000 feet in the air somewhere between Dallas and Seattle.

A big thank you to all of my fans that have supported me through this trial. Every message and letter was an added source of strength and motivation for me. I want to thank Boris Gladun as well. Boris used to come to my house in the early days and do some physical therapy with me. I used to hate hearing him knock on my door because it was early and I had no motivation to do some of the exercises but he got me off my crutches and taught me to walk again. Our team trainers also helped me once they picked up where Boris left off. A big thanks to Dave Tenny, our fitness coach. He was huge in my career before my injury because he took me from being 60-minute fit when I first came here from college and made me 90-minute fit. I’ve worked with him a lot this year, and he’s pushed my body to limits I didn’t think I had at times.

I thank Sigi and all of our coaches for the football side of things, and for having patience while I found my touch and sharpness. Also I’d like to thank our entire organisation for the way they’ve been there for me through all of this. Thanks to my family and close friends who not only suffered with me but also believed with me. I thank all of my team mates as well.

I also want to thank Myles Munroe, my mentor and a spiritual father. Every time I needed to get away I was able to call him or fly to the Bahamas and spend time with him. Each trip renewed my faith and belief that I’d be able to become a good player again.

I was so happy to get the assist for Mauro’s goal in the way that I did because it was the final check mark in my mind that needed to be crossed off. It’s something I did consistently before, and so I’m glad I can still do it!

Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank my Creator and Source of all my gifts, talents, and potential, if not for my faith in Him, I would have quit at some point!

Thanks for everything, keep supporting us as we try to bring a championship to this great city and our great fans this year! This will be the last time I use this blog because my focus is now 100% on winning the rest of our games and doing the business in the playoffs!

Steve Z


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2011: final thoughts

I hope you are all enjoying the Christmas season, it’s definitely the best time of the year!

Like last year I’ll be spending it in the Bahamas, but before I leave town, I wanted to once again thank you all for the support and encouragement you’ve given me since April. At home I have two special photos hanging on my wall. One is of the “11” tribute during the Toronto game, and the other is one that was taken moments before my last goal against Chicago. It is surrounded by several get well messages written by fans.

This time last year, I had just played for the Congo national team, and then trained in England with Everton for 10 days. Both were great experiences. It’s those kinds of memories that drive me during my recovery, they push me to work hard because I want to regain that level I had and then surpass it. It’s going to be very hard to do it, but life is full of challenges and examples of those who overcame them. I want to be an example.

This year I learned that no matter what happens, life goes on. It doesn’t stop for any of us. That’s why I decided to keep a positive outlook on everything while staying prepared for any possible outcome. It’s the beauty of life.

This time of year is always a sad one for the players because we know we will lose some teammates and friends. I’ll miss all the guys who left us but in particular I’ll miss John Legend (James Riley). When we all got to Seattle back in 2009, he and I used to live in nearby apartments downtown. I didn’t have a car in those early days and so James would pick me up from home and we’d make the 20-30 minute drive to training while having really good conversation and getting to know each other. He made me realize the importance of being active in the community and we used to hang out a lot on the Friday/Saturday nights that we could as well. And of course, I’m a left midfielder and he’s a right back, which means there were times that we went directly against each other in training games. Those were tough, he’d win some and I’d win more lol… but my point is, he’s my friend and I’ll miss him. Bumped into him in Bellevue the other day so at least I got a chance to speak to him in person rather than just the texts we’d been sending.

I always like to go away at this time of year and recharge physically, mentally, and spiritually. The Bahamas is a great place to do that because of the weather, the beach, and also because my phone doesn’t work there which means I don’t get too distracted. It’s also a chance for me to spend some time with Dr. Myles Munroe. He’s an important figure in my life and has influenced me a lot over the last few years.

The most popular question people ask me is this: when will you play again? My response is the same now as it was the day after the injury… I am not setting any specific dates, I’ll just work myself back into shape, and when my body allows me to compete again, I will. Let me add this though, I’m getting close to that very final hurdle which we always knew would be the hardest one. It’s an exciting time and I’m ready for that final push.

Hope you enjoyed that update! See you all soon!

P.S Would be interested in hearing some of your holiday plans.. any family traditions, how much turkey/ham you plan to eat, some resolutions or goals for the next year?

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Q&A Contest…

Wow, so many questions received in 24hrs.. about 150 I’d say.. obviously I can’t answer them all so I’ll select a few and answer those. Enjoy the responses and again, thanks for the questions. The best question received wins my boots, and the second best wins my jersey…winners will be alerted once the decision is made! Sorry if I didn’t get to answer your question on here… just know that I read it and appreciate it!


Q. Jacob Perez: Who is the nicest off-pitch player on the sounders?

A. To tell you the truth, all the guys are great people. I’ve been on teams where there were one or two bad apples but everyone on this team is genuine and we all get on!

Q. Kim Morrow: If you didnt play soccer, what would you do for a career?

A: A teacher or a musician! Loved English in school so I could have taught that, and I’ve also made my own music since I was about 13.

Q. Chris Perry: Through your lowest points in this past season, who kept you going and supported you?

A: Faith, family, and friends.

Q. Ryan Brooks: you’re ability on the pitch is amazing, what moment do you think back on as the moment that it set in that you are playing soccer at a professional level?

A: When I made my debut in my rookie year as a sub against New York… to run out in front of 30,000 fans in front of the ESPN cameras was amazing and like nothing I’d experienced before.

Q. Likkit Pocinwong: If you could go back in time and change the outcome of that fateful moment of your injury – would you change it or do you believe that you were put on this particular path for a reason?

A: Obviously I wish the injury never happened, but at the same time, these sort of things happen to all of us. We all have set backs. I never carry any regrets in life so as much as I wish it didn’t happen, I’m completely content with how things are right now because I’ve learned things about life and myself that I would not have learned any other way.

Q. Chase Butler: Have you ever felt like giving up soccer/ not wanting to play anymore?

A: Yes, after every loss!!! But seriously, there are days when it’s hard to stay motivated because you are not playing well or the team is not winning, and that can steal your passion. What I’ve learned to do is to remind myself why I played football in the first place – it wasn’t for the wins, losses, crowds, or glory… I played on the streets of London as a kid because it was fun!

Q. Lee Jackson: Considering you and your brother started life in what is generally regarded as a war zone, how big a part has your faith played in your life?? Esp considering the amazing success you’ve both enjoyed with your respective clubs

A: I can only speak for myself but I’ll say that my faith in God is my foundation in life. I can’t put it any other way.

Q. Barry Woslum: Tea or Coffee?

A: Sometimes I drink tea 4 times in a day

Q. Tayler Howell: If you could go back in time and change something in your life what would you change?

A: Nothing, I have zero regrets. I just learn and move on.

Q. Sean Massey: When Caleb porter came overseas to talk to you about playing for akron, did u really think you would be as succesful as you are?

A: It wasn’t Caleb that came, it was Ryan Higginbotham, the Akron assistant coach at the time. But no, I didn’t think I’d be the #1 pick in the draft almost 2 years to the day of when I first stepped foot on campus in Ohio.

Q. Linda Sue Turley- Dalke: What has been the hardest part of your recovery for your mom?

A: I guess just seeing the physical pain I went through in that first month in hospital.

Q. Evan Kolius: Any significance in wearing #11?

A: Have worn it my whole life really, can’t remember if there was any inspiration behind it.

Q. Angela Pace: Which are you more passionate about, Kingdom Hope or playing soccer?

A: I love both but Kingdom Hope is something I will do and build for the rest of my life so if I had to choose between the two, it would be Kingdom Hope.

Q. Osvaldo del Bosque: you said to ask a question so here you go . . . . since we are almost in thanksgiving week, who would you thank for making it as a professional player?

A: Every coach and team mate I have ever had

Q. Mark Romero: Do you like Seattle as a city?

A: Absolutely love Seattle. London will always be my fave city but Seattle, along with a couple others, is a close second.

Q. Omar Hassan: Hey steve when was your best time in your soccer life or career?

A: Every day is great when you are living your dream life.

Q. Alex Mapp: What affect did caleb porter and akrom have on you becoming the best player you could be?

A: Caleb and Akron gave me the freedom to develop my skills into what they are today. The two years I spent attending classes and playing at Akron are two of the best years of my life!

Q. Rachel Gott Ferguson: From my 8yr old son….”If you could play with any player past or present, who would it be?”

A: Ronaldinho

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It’s been a minute…

It’s been a while..

Health and Training

Since the last time, a lot has changed so let me bring you up to speed. First and foremost, health-wise I feel great. Had an x-ray (probably the last one I’ll have) on my right leg yesterday and the bones are 95-98% healed I’d say. Nature has taken it’s course and it feels good to know everything is almost back to normal there.

I’ve been training hard this week. Twice on Sunday, twice on Monday, once on Tuesday, once on Wednesday (hard to do after the historic win on Tuesday night), once today and I’ll go twice tomorrow. The reason I just said that is because there have been days when I couldn’t leave my couch or the hospital bed to walk to the bathroom. So now, to have my body in a place where I can work up a sweat and do some of the drills that my team mates are doing is a great feeling to have. I’ve worked closely with fitness coach Dave Tenney this week, for me he’s the best at what he does and since 2009 when I came here, he’s really helped to get my game up to the level it was at before the injury. Now he just has to do it all over again.. no pressure Dave!


At the end of September, I took a two week break away from everything here in Seattle because mentally I needed it. I owe the club a huge thank you for understanding and initially suggesting the idea for me to get away. The reason I took the break was because I plan to be in Seattle from now on thru January training everyday – that break was basically my offseason. I was in London mostly to see friends and family. Those trips are always fun and I definitely miss home. My mum and sisters were pleased to see me walking and moving so well. My brothers said, “it’s about time!” boys will be boys! In London, lies my favourite restaurant on the whole planet. I’ve been to so many countries in my life and eaten so many different foods but nothing compares to Brown Eagle. It’s located in North London, in a city called Tottenham (where the London riots began), it’s where I grew up. When I landed at heathrow and my friend picked me up, he asked me “should I take you to see your mum, your brother, or your friends?” I gave him a look that said, “I thought you knew me better than that.” And with that we drove from the airport to Brown Eagle! The next two hours are a blur now but I can still taste the Rice and Peas, Oxtail, Plantain, and Fruit Punch when I close my eyes!!!


On Tuesday, like most of you, I was in the stadium to witness history. Massive congrats to the team for such a great win.. I watched with a large group of friends in one of the suites at Qwe… I mean Century Link field! If it had been up to me I would have watched the celebrations from my seat but Sigi wanted me on the field to experience it firsthand with my team mates which was nice of him. I even lifted the trophy in front of the fans and to hear them sing my name gave me goosebumps. You fans are truly special.

Someone said to me the other day, “every time I am around you, you are happy! And you seem to be an even happier person since the injury.” That really got me thinking, because even though I know it to be true, I couldn’t tell you exactly why. I’ve always been a happy person, but since the injury, I’ve been able to appreciate that life happens to all of us, and the best thing you can do with your limited time on this planet is to be happy, joyous, and always positive no matter what happens to you. It took me two months after the injury to learn that and I have not looked back since. I believe that worrying is completely useless because it changes nothing! So I never worry about anything anymore, I just enjoy and make the most of my 24 hours everyday! I think Steve Jobs death is a reminder to all of us of what a positive attitude can help you do. Born out of wedlock, adopted, college dropout… To a world changer! All in just 56 years! That’s the kind of person I admire!

Thanks for reading, that’s it from me for now! I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments! Until next time… Peace!

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The latest from me!

It’s been a while since I posted on here with an update on how I’m doing, so here’s a little bit of what’s been going.

Physically I am feeling as good as I’ve felt since the injury first happened. This last week was a breakthrough week because I accomplished things I didn’t even plan on accomplishing. For example, after training on Tuesday, I decided to start dribbling the ball and taking shots at the goal. I haven’t tried to do this since the injury, or even been encouraged to do this by the doctors and trainers I’m working with, but I just felt that I’d be able to do it. Surprisingly, I felt pretty good as I dribbled and took some shots with my right foot (the injured leg). I ended up doing more than I probably should have and felt a little bit sore afterward but who cares right? It’s a step in the right direction. Today (Thursday) I actually joined the team for the first part of warm ups, and did everything my team mates did in terms of jogging, stretching, and agility exercises. I stepped out once the ball was thrown into the equation and trained on the side with one of our trainers. We did some advanced ball work in comparison to what I’ve been doing and I felt really good again. Looking forward to training on Friday so I can finish off a good week.

I guess the next step for me is the final phase, which sometimes is the hardest phase of all. I need to work on being able to sprint fully, strike the ball with the power I had before, be able to change directions at speed, take hits, and have equal strength in both legs (or as close as possible). Those are my goals now and they’ll be hard to reach but I love a challenge! A lot of it depends on me – my desire, work-rate, effort, and dedication – but some of it is also out of my hands. For example, I can’t control the rate at which my nerves regain strength, and also how quickly my leg will be able to take the impact it used to take. I’m doing everything I can to be back to 100% soon…. I don’t know when that will be. If it’s in a month I’ll be ecstatic! If it’s in a year I’ll be ecstatic! If it’s in 2 years I’ll be ecstatic! I just want to play again one day – that’s where my focus is!

I’m sure some of you may have seen the freestyle video I put up on YouTube (Steve Z Quote Me) a couple of weeks ago. Thanks for the positive feedback. As I’ve said plenty of times before I’ve been into that kind of music since I was a kid and I used to go on radio stations in London with my friends on a weekly basis to do some of what I did in the video. I do it purely for fun and because it’s a hobby of mine!

If you get a chance, pick up a copy of the latest Official Arsenal Magazine and read the interview I did for the team I grew up playing for. I’m sure there are some online versions out there by now as well.

For everyone in the Seattle area, let me recommend a restaurant – Island Soul. Authentic Jamaican food and a great vibe (especially on a Friday/Saturday night with live music). Google it and pay them a visit!

Thank you all so much for your support, encouragement, and comforting words these past few months. It means a lot to me and I’m convinced that the best is yet to come! Talk to you all soon. Feel free to leave some comments on here, on my facebook/twitter, I enjoy reading them all even though I can’t always respond to each one!

Love you all!

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I hope you’re all enjoying your summer! I’m having a great time… I’ve heard some people complain about the weather here in Seattle but I’d much rather be here than anywhere on the east coast dealing with that heat wave! Besides, when the sun does come up in the Seattle area, it magnifies the beauty of this place even more.

A lot of people asked me for another update on my health and at the moment all I can say is that I’m doing great and responding well to the physical therapy. I won’t lie to any of you and say that life has been easy these past three months, but I will say that I’m in a very good place emotionally, spiritually, and even physically.. I’m doing great! The reality is that I’m slightly ahead of schedule but it’s still a day by day, week to week situation. As I’ve said before, no unnecessary risks will be taken because of the nature of the injury.

The team has been on a great run and have played great football lately. The Manchester United game aside (it really wasn’t a big deal to be honest) it’s been fun to watch what my team mates have been doing on the pitch! Long may it continue…

I was in North Carolina and also California recently, and will be going to Nebraska (don’t ask), The Bahamas and London in September. It’s important that I get away and keep myself busy during my recovery so that I don’t get caught up in a mundane routine – that would be bad for my spirits! The club have been great and our GM, Adrian, is fully behind me taking that two week break from everything in September.

Kingdom Hope (my nonprofit) has kept me busy lately as we are planning some events like the Aug 6 viewing party for Seattle’s game vs Kansas at the Golazo HQ in Seattle. Come and join me, it’ll be fun to cheer the lads on to victory with you. See “Steve Zakuani’s Kingdom Hope” on Facebook for more details. I also enjoy public speaking and community outreach events and I’m able to accomplish both of those goals through Kingdom Hope.

Away from soccer, I keep up with the news a lot and spend time with friends. It was sad to see Amy Winehouse pass away last week, no matter what our personal opinion of her is, her talent was obvious and she will live on through her music. The tragedy in Norway was shocking to all of us as well I think, and we can only hope that those affected will find peace in the midst of their storm.

A couple of months ago I received a message on Facebook that moved me deeply and I am planning on doing something special for that person in a few days. Everything will be caught on camera and I will post the video on the Kingdom Hope website and Facebook, and my own Facebook too.. you will enjoy it a lot, but most of all I want to make a positive impact in that individuals life! Stay tuned..

Finally, I’ve been writing some new music and will be back in the studio in a couple of days.. it’s one of my most enjoyable hobbies. I do it purely for fun and it helps me to stay in touch with my roots because growing up, apart from football, music was all my friends and I were interested in.

I’m always on the lookout for good music so feel free to leave me some suggestions in the comments below…

Till next time!

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Quick Update

Just a quick update for those who’ve been asking. It’s been two and half months since the injury and I must say I’m feeling good, and that I’m a lot further along than I thought I’d be at this stage. In the past few days I’ve started some really light jogging and have increased the difficulty of the agility, strengthening, and mobility exercises that I do in my workouts. Each small victory is a step in the right direction. I’m also going to start doing some weight training again because I lost a lot of weight in the early weeks following the injury. I was already a skinny guy, so you know that wasn’t a good thing! Seriously though, it’s important for me to start getting back to my playing weight and conditioning.

I hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July… I know I did. I was way out in Marysville at a bbq with a friend and his family, and then I went to see another friend in Bellevue where we caught the firework show. The team got a good point on the road – LA is a tough place to play. I didn’t watch the game so I can’t say which team played better etc, but anytime you can leave LA with something, that’s a positive. In the coming weeks I’ll be doing a lot of traveling as I take some time away to refocus before I begin phase 2 of my recovery. Phase 2 will be running, ball work, and eventually sprinting. I love traveling so these trips will be welcome respites from my daily rehab routine. To all the fans who have been sending me messages wishing me a speedy recovery, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart because it means a lot to me.

Lastly, you may or may not know that I love reading books and collecting quotes.. I saw a good one the other day that reminded me to remain positive, optimistic, and full of faith no matter how bad things look externally. Here it is “There are days so tough, you wish you had never gotten out of bed, until you run into someone who couldn’t”

Until next time, Steve Zakuani

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