Seattle Sounders’ Nkufo and Hurtado join Zakuani as US residents

The Seattle Sounders FC have announced that defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, forward Blaise Nkufo and midfielder Steve Zakuani have received their U.S.

The Seattle Sounders FC have announced that defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, forward Blaise Nkufo and midfielder Steve Zakuani have received their U.S. Green Cards, granting all three players permanent resident status in the United States, effective immediately.

As residents, Hurtado, 26, Nkufo, 35, and Zakuani, 22, will no longer occupy International Player slots on the club’s roster.

A native of Colombia, Hurtado was a finalist for 2009 MLS Defender of the Year and an MLS All-Star selection. He started nine of the first 10 matches in 2010 before sustaining a season-ending injury.

Nkufo finished as the team’s third-leading scorer after arriving in midseason, following World Cup duty with the Swiss National Team. He scored the first hat trick in club history on September 18 at Columbus.

Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zakuani ranks second on the club with 14 goals and 10 assists in his two MLS seasons. A finalist for 2009 Rookie of the Year, he more than doubled his production in 2010, scoring 10 goals with six assists.

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