Steve Zakuani admits he is extremely excited about the next chapter of his soccer career with the Portland Timbers.
The 25-year old winger, formerly with Arsenalâ€™s youth academy, finds himself in Oregon after spending the past five years with Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders.
Zakuani reunites with his former Akron Zips coach Caleb Porter at JELD-WEN Field and he is looking forward to again playing under the Timbers boss.
â€śItâ€™s been fun. Obviously when I came here I was looking forward to playing with the players in this group and working with Caleb Porter once again,â€ť he told the Oregonian.
â€śComing here and seeing how he works, bringing back memories from college, itâ€™s been exciting.
â€śIâ€™m integrating into the team right now, Iâ€™m getting used to doing things the Portland way on and off the pitch.
â€śItâ€™s been an easy integration. I know him (Porter) from before and I think heâ€™s grown a lot as a coach, for the better and obviously Iâ€™ve grown a lot as a player since college. That was one of the things that made me excited to come here, the chance to work with him again, because I know he can get the best out of me.â€ť
As for the inevitable question regarding the Timbersâ€™ rivalry with the Sounders, Zakuani insists he is only focusing on his new club.
â€śI spent some great years in Seattle, five very good years, but things come to an end and this is a new beginning, a new chapter,â€ť he added.
â€śNow I play for Portland and Iâ€™m going to give everything for Portland. My only focus while Iâ€™m in Portland is to give everything for this team and this jersey and this city. I donâ€™t think about Seattle anymore, that chapter is closed.â€ť
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