After a season plagued by injuries, Steve Zakuani has announced on his personal website that he is retiring from soccer at the age of 26.
Three and a half years after having his leg broken thanks to a brutal tackle from then-Colorado Rapids midfield Brian Mullen, the physical toll of the injury continues to wear on Zakuani, he says, and it is only thanks to training staffs of the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers that he was able to continue on for this long.
In the retirement announcement, Zakuani included a message for Timbers fans.
I want to thank the Timbers fans for all of your support this year. Even though you weren't able to see me on the pitch as often as we all would have liked, you still supported me and offered me encouragement every time we crossed paths.
Zakuani's seventeen league appearances with the Timbers in 2014, nine of which were starts, were the most that he had made in a season since the injury. He tallied three assists in league play this year and notched a goal for the Timbers in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Zakuani intends to release a book in the next several weeks complied from the journals he kept after his injury and through the last three years of his attempted recovery.