Here’s some of what Steve Zakuani had to say tonight as he returned to MLS action for the first time since suffering a fractured right tibia and fibula April 22, 2011, on a reckless tackle by Colorado midfielder Brian Mullan. (And here is a great picture of the shirt-swap, and a few quotes from Mullan.)
On finally being back) “I am honestly overwhelmed. I tried to visualize what that moment would be like for almost a year. It was something I can’t describe. Those fans are something else, and I think that they out did themselves tonight. I am emotional obviously and it is a great emotional check mark in my mind. I am also happy the team won. It is a great night for the Sounders organization all around.”
On exchanging jerseys with Brian Mullan after the game) “I went up to a bunch of their players, and I went up to him as well. I think that it is good. I have said from day one that I do not have any issues with him. I forgave him a long time ago, but I think it is good for the public to see, for closure. Now I think that he can go on with his career and I can start to do the same. I have a lot of work to do to play consistently well. He took my shirt home and I am taking his shirt home and I think that chapter is closed now.
On the emotions when coach Sigi Schmid called him in to play) “I was kind of just watching the clock to see when it would come. They told me I was going to come in when it was two nil and I thought no way, we are just going to keep the ball and make them chase it. Then they scored, so when I came in I was doing a lot more defending than I expected. I was just so happy to get out there and run. It was amazing, it was a moment that I will have to go home and watch on tv to see what actually happened. It is just a blur right now.”