Sounders Insider

Sounders plan Zakuani tribute on Saturday

The MLS office was silent today, so it now appears Wednesday will be the day that we receive word on disciplinary action against Brian Mullan for his tackle Friday that injured Steve Zakuani.

However, the SoundersFC.com website published this message from Zakuani, who was scheduled to fly back to Sea-Tac today:

Dear Friends of Kingdom Hope and the Sounders FC Community:

As you all know, during our match this past Friday against the Colorado Rapids, I was unfortunately on the receiving end of a mistimed tackle and had my right tibia and fibula broken as a result. I have been recovering in Denver since Friday night and I just want to say that I am more than overwhelmed by the outpouring of well wishes and genuine encouragements I have received. After 24 hours I had received about 400 emails, a couple hundred Facebook messages, hundreds of Facebook wall posts, 62 text messages and several phone calls from all over the world. I can’t thank my family, friends and fans enough for their love towards me. I also would like to thank my club team, Seattle Sounders FC, for going above and beyond what they needed to do in order to make sure I was comfortable and well taken care of. The long road to recovery has already started and I am fully aware of the mountains ahead of me but I also know that I will go through all of the challenges ahead with a positive attitude using my faith in Jesus Christ as a solid foundation on which to overcome this setback. Again, thank you for your love, thoughts and prayers toward me.

Thank you,

Steve Zakuani

Meanwhile, the club released a series of notes regarding Zakunai, including plans for a tribute to No. 11 on Saturday, when Toronto FC visits Qwest Field.

Here are those notes from the club:

Thinking of Steve Sounders FC wishes to thank fans from near and far for their outpouring of support for Steve Zakuani. Although Steve begins the week still at Denver Rose Medical Center, he is expected to return home in a few days. He underwent successful surgery to repair a fractured right fibula and tibia following the match on Friday night.

Sounders FC fans are invited to send their best wishes to Steve on twitter (@stevezakuani11 with the hash tag #forZakuani), on SoundersFC.com and via physical mail (Sounders FC Community Relations, 12 Seahawks Way, Renton, WA 98056).

Show of SupportFans are invited to sign oversize cards for Sounders FC midfielder Steve Zakuani prior to Saturday's match. The cards will be located in Soccer Celebration, the Northwest Marshalling Area and near the main entrance to the Pro Shop. In addition, a Zakuani "11" card will be distributed at the gates for an in-match salute.

Filling Those BootsSteve Zakuani has proven not only highly productive but also a unique force in his young professional career. He had scored 16 goals, including 12 in his last 32 matches, and prior to the Colorado match he had scored or assisted in his last four games. His acceleration and close control down the left flank was his signature on the pitch and his broad smile made fans of all who saw him. He had missed only three matches since being drafted with the top selection in the 2009 SuperDraft. Now Sounders FC faces the prospect of playing without Zakuani for the foreseeable future.

While the Rave Green must adapt, they will do so from a position of strength. Sigi Schmid has a deep squad from which to choose. Among the options are versatile midfielders Alvaro Fernandez and Erik Friberg who, together, have started nine matches thus far in 2011. Also waiting in the wings are David Estrada, Mike Fucito, Roger Levesque, Miguel Montano, Lamar Neagle and Michael Tetteh. All have seen action so far except Fucito-who was injured late in preseason but productive (three goals) late in the Champions League matches late last year-and Tetteh, the team's top pick in the 2011 SuperDraft.

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