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Originally published January 15, 2009 at 11:17 AM | Page modified January 15, 2009 at 1:37 PM

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Sounders FC selects Steve Zakuani with first pick in MLS SuperDraft

University of Akron forward lead the nation in goals and point as a sophomore in 2008

Seattle Times staff reporter

Steve Zakuani bio
Date of Birth
United Kingdom
High School
Gladesmore Community School
Club/National Team
Played with Arsenal youth team from 1997-2003
Played at the Independent Football Academy in London from 2003-2007

College Stats
Akron 2008 23 22 20 7
Akron 2007 21 21 6 2
Totals 44 43 26 9

2008: Led nation in goals and points, MAC Hermann Trophy finalist, Soccer America Player of the Year, TopDrawerSoccer Player of the Year, NSCAA/adidas First Team All-American and First Team All-Great Lakes Region, Soccer America First Team All- American, College Soccer News First Team All- American, MAC Player of the Year, All-MAC First Team, Soccer America Preseason All-American, College Soccer News Player to Watch, two-time TopDrawerSoccer National Player of the Week, College Soccer News National Player of the Week
2007: College Soccer News All-Freshman Team, MAC Newcomer of the Year, First Team All-MAC, NSCAA/adidas First Team All-Great Lakes Region

Courtesy MLS

Seattle Sounders FC made its first-ever draft pick Thursday morning, selecting University of Akron forward Steve Zakuani with the first overall pick of the 2009 Major League Soccer SuperDraft in St. Louis.

Zakuani, a 20-year-old under classmen who signed an MLS contract before his college eligibility was complete, was born in the Congo in Central Africa before moving to England at age 4. He played for the Arsenal youth team there before an ACL injury in 2003 ended his opportunity to advance through that club's system. He landed in Akron when a scout noticed him.

Zakuani led the nation in goals and points as a sophomore in 2008, scoring 20 goals and seven assists in 23 games for the Zips.

"I'm excited. It's an honor for me and a dream come true as well," Zakuani said after being selected. "I'm so happy to be going here [to Seattle] and playing for Coach [Sigi] Schmid."

Zakuani said he'd been telling people he wanted to come to Seattle because of the excitement building for the expansion MLS franchise. That was after he decided to sign with MLS as a Generation Adidas player — a player with college eligibility remaining who is identified by MLS as an elite talent and thus draftable.

Zakuani weighed options to play in Europe until choosing MLS at the end of last month.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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