Steve Zakuani visited his Sounders FC teammates in the locker room before they went out to meet the Colorado Rapids – the team that put him on the shelf with a fractured leg.
Then the Sounders matched Colorado bump for bump in a rugged game in which five yellow cards were handed out – three for reckless tackles.
However, the Sounders said afterward that the incidents were unrelated.
“Like Zakuani said: It’s over, it’s all in the past,” defender James Riley said. “His road is to recovery, and we’re fully behind him in that. … He was here inside the locker room today before the game. It’s always awesome. It’s always great to see his face, and he was and telling jokes and laughing and doing that bit. Honestly, I didn’t think of it today to be honest with you.”
The sellout crowd of 36,424 did, however, chanting Zakuani’s name early in the first half and then again as the final second ticked down on Seattle’s 4-3 win.
Zakuani was injured in the April 22 game at Colorado on what was judged a reckless tackle by veteran midfielder Brian Mullan. Mullan’s 10-game suspension ended earlier this month, but the Rapids did not include him on their travel squad to Seattle.