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Portland Timbers boss Porter ready to unleash 'game changer' Zakuani

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter has given the clearest indication yet that Steve Zakuani will soon be ready to start.

The 26-year old winger has made two substitute appearances for the Timbers since his offseason move from Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders.

The 35 minutes the former Arsenal youth has played is his first competitive action since taking on the Timbers for Seattle in October last year and he is on now the verge of a start according to an excited Porter.

"He's a game-changer," Porter told MLSsoccer.com of Zakuani.

"He's a guy that can bring some 1 v. 1 penetration. We didn't have that last year.

"[Darlington] Nagbe does that at times, but [Zakuani] can unlock teams 1 v. 1. It's a different dimension."

Zakuani has been a second-half addition in the 1-1 draws with Philadelphia Union and Chicago Fire and feels he is honing in on more of a contribution for his new club.

"When I came into training, I didn't think I'd be back in time," Zakuani said. "So to at least play a part … was important for my confidence.

"Now with that behind me, I can look forward to keep progressing and improving and just be ready for when the time comes again."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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