“This is hands down the toughest decision I've had to make in my life, but with all things taken into consideration, I have peace that it's the right one for me to make,” Zakuani says on the Timbers website. “Not being able to consistently perform at the high level I'm used to was tough to deal with mentally, and the constant physical pain I was under from week to week also took its toll. Rather than play through aches and pains for the next few years, I've chosen to go on with my life because as much as I love the sport, my health has to come first.
“There are many people I could thank for the role they've played in my career, and the time for that will come. Right now, I want to thank the two clubs that I played for – the Sounders and Timbers – for giving me the opportunity to represent them and live my dream. It was a tough year for me in Portland, but the organization treated me very well and gave me tremendous support through my injuries and my decision to retire.”