If you are a longtime Sounders fan that would be interested in watching a bunch of club legends duke it out in a competitive soccer game, you’re in luck.
The first annual Zakuani & Friends Charity Match is set for October 11, when a group of former Sounders players, current coaches, S2 players and members of the Seattle Reign will take the pitch at Starfire Stadium. Proceeds raised by the event will go towards Kingdom Hope, a non-profit organization run by former Sounders FC midfielder Steve Zakuani.
Along with Zakuani, some of the former Sounders that will participate are Roger Levesque, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Djimi Traore and Patrick Ianni. Sounders FC assistant coaches Brian Schmetzer and Tom Dutra, Sporting Director Chris Henderson and S2 head coach Ezra Hendrickson will also play. After the game, there will be a meet-and-greet where fans can get autographs.
“We thought we’d get the community behind us and give them a chance to see some players they haven’t seen in a very long time,” Zakuani said of the event. “It’s going to be a very good mix of people in the soccer community in Seattle, so hopefully we can get people out there and have a fun, competitive game.”
Hundreds of tickets have already been sold for the match, according to Zakuani. It will be a full-sided, 90-minute game, with one team being coached by Sounders FC’s Sigi Schmid and the other coached by Reign FC’s Laura Harvey, a two-time NWSL Coach of the Year.
Zakuani is expecting it to be a competitive battle at Starfire.
“When you have people like Patrick Ianni – people that are super competitive – I think we’re going to see them go out there and play hard,” Zakuani said. “They’re going to want to win. There will be lots of little competitions between guys here and there. I think once the game gets going, we’ll forget it’s a charity game and everyone will want to win.”
Zakuani added that, although he hasn’t played much soccer in the past year, he did train with S2 during August to help prepare himself for this match.
While winning the game will certainly be an objective of the players, the ultimate goal is to raise funds for Kingdom Hope. Founded by Zakuani in 2010, the non-profit organization grants scholarships to young athletes in the U.S. and Africa that wouldn’t be able to afford college otherwise. Kingdom Hope has also regularly put on youth soccer camps in the greater Seattle area.