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Zakuani return thrills Seattle Sounders fans and players alike

Steve Zakuani made his first MLS appearance in 14 months on the weekend as Seattle Sounders beat Colorado Rapids 2-1.

The 24-year old winger has been sidelined since early last season (April) when he badly broke his leg in a challenge with Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan but managed to get on for the final five minutes of Saturday's victory.

Zakuani has admitted it was a great moment to be able to get back to first team action and the response of the fans was something that was not lost on teammates and coaches.

"I tried to kind of take it in and just compose myself, thinking, 'Just enjoy the moment,' " he said.

"There honestly was a time when I thought I would never play football again. Honestly. To be back there was, for me, the biggest achievement. I just took it in. I just said, 'No matter how it goes ... just enjoy yourself.' Tonight was just about crossing that white line and being happy that you did it, and taking it in."

Forward Eddie Johnson and head coach Sigi Schmid were astounded by how much noise the CenturyLink Field crowd made when Zakuani entered the pitch in the dying moments.

"I've been playing 11 years of soccer and that's the loudest I've ever heard a stadium," said Johnson.

Schmid added: "The eruption of the crowd was as loud as I think I've ever heard here. It was fantastic."

And in an emotional moment at the end of the game, Zakuani and Mullan shared an embrace which brought about some closure for the former Arsenal trainee.

"I've said from Day One I had no issues with him; I had forgiven him a long time ago," Zakuani said. "There were no problems, but I think that was good to have that public moment for closure."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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