Hit to Steve Zakuani's leg doesn't slow his comeback season
The Sounders FC midfielder is "totally fine" after leaving Wednesday's game because of a hit to his previously injured right leg.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Midfielder Steve Zakuani was forced out of Sounders FC's CONCACAF Champions League game Wednesday when he took a painful hit to his right leg.
Yes, that leg.
The one that has undergone multiple surgeries, is supported by a steel rod and needed months to regain all its sensation amid a long recovery from a double fracture.
When Zakuani, who scored a goal in the 3-1 win over CD Marathon of Honduras, returned home, he was inundated with messages of concern from fans on Twitter.
"People were like, 'Not again... ,' " he said Friday.
"I really didn't mean to (worry them), so I sent out a tweet just saying, 'I'm not injured. Don't be concerned.' I know I'm fine. I'm totally fine. It would take a lot for me to reinjure it. There's no concern."
No concern with his leg, and no concern with his form.
Zakuani has started five of his eight games played and boasts two goals and an assist since his July comeback. He also tied for the second-most goals on the team in the MLS Reserve League with two goals despite playing just three games.
"He's accomplished so much this year — everything that he's had to come through, that he's had to work through at the beginning of the season," said coach Sigi Schmid.
"He had to take care of a lot in the offseason, so I don't disagree with what he said and I said at the very beginning — that his best soccer is going to be in 2013. But he has really surprised me in what he's been able to do. ... He's doing well enough where he's going to be a part of our playoff activity, for sure. Then, when he has this offseason now to work on getting ready for the season in 2013, I think Steve can get back to where he was."
Sounders to face Mexican foe in CCL quarters
The CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal draws were settled Thursday, and the matchup isn't favorable for the Sounders.
No. 3-seed Seattle will face Mexican club Tigres UANL, which was seeded No. 6, in a two-leg series. The Sounders will play the first game on the road between March 5-7 and host the second game between March 12-14.
"Obviously you try and avoid a Mexican team if at all possible," Schmid said, "but it is what it is, and if we want to win the competition, we have to win against a team like that and in games like that."
The other CCL quarterfinal matchups: No. 1 Monterrey of Mexico vs. No. 8 Xelaju of Guatemala, No. 2 Santos Laguna of Mexico vs. No. 7 Houston Dynamo, and No. 4 Los Angeles Galaxy vs. No. 5 Herediano of Costa Rica.
• Defenders Leo Gonzalez (hamstring) and Patrick Ianni (calf) could rejoin practice next week, Schmid said. Midfielder Andy Rose is listed as questionable on the injury report with an adductor strain.
• Asked if he's rooting for San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski to break the league's scoring record this weekend, Schmid said: "Who are they playing? ... Portland? Yeah, so I'm probably hoping he breaks it."
• FC Dallas defender Jair Benitez has been fined an undisclosed amount by MLS for an "act of embellishment which brought the game into disrepute" in the second half of Sunday's game against Sounders FC.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or email@example.com.
On Twitter @joshuamayers