Steve Zakuani was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1988. One of six children, he spent his childhood in London, England where he first began playing soccer. At the age of nine, he was spotted by Arsenal Football Club who are widely recognized as one of the premier teams in the world. He would go on to spend five years playing for Arsenal’s youth teams. At age 15 he suffered a serious knee injury and had to put his aspiring soccer career on hold. After 15 months out injured, Zakuani returned to playing and in 2007 he left London to enroll at The University of Akron in Ohio. In just two years at Akron he established himself as the leading player in NCAA Division I soccer, leading the nation in scoring in his sophomore year with 20 goals and seven assists in 23 games. Following his sophomore year, Zakuani left college, signed a 5 year professional contract, and entered the Major League Soccer SuperDraft where he was selected by Seattle Sounders FC with the #1 overall pick. In his first year he led all rookies in scoring with four goals and four assists. In similar fashion to his college career, Zakuani’s second season in the professional game proved to be a breakout one. He scored 11 goals including the first ever in Sounders playoff history, and also tallied six assists. In each of his first two seasons, he helped lead Seattle to the US Open Cup title. His third season began in encouraging fashion as he scored two goals and added two assists through the first five games. Unfortunately, in the sixth game of the season Zakuani’s leg was broken following a strong tackle. He has since undergone successful surgery and expects to make a full recovery.
In 2010, Zakuani founded a nonprofit organization, Kingdom Hope, with which he hopes to help aspiring soccer players reach their goals through the establishment of soccer academies, camps, clinics, and a scholarship. Kingdom Hope will also host conferences and seminars where life lessons will be taught based on Biblical principles. The organization is faith-based. At age 17, Zakuani was taken by his teacher and mentor, Paul Goodison, to watch motivational speaker and evangelist Myles Munroe. This was a life changing event for Zakuani, and he committed himself to living a life for Christ. Along with Munroe, Zakuani considers John Wooden, and Malcolm X among his heroes.