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Former Sounders FC star Steve Zakuani joins Tacoma Stars coaching staff

Former Sounders FC midfielder Steve Zakuani has joined the Tacoma Stars as an assistant coach, as announced Wednesday.

Zakuani, 27, will be with the Stars for the 2015-16 Major Arena Soccer League season. He continues his role as a broadcaster for Sounders FC, serving as an analyst for matches on local television.

“I’m excited to continue my involvement with soccer in this region,” Zakuani said in a press release. “Working with young players is a huge passion of mine and this is a great chance for me to learn from Darren in a professional environment as I try to give back to a sport that gave me so much.”

Zakuani played for the Sounders from 2009 to 2013, scoring 17 goals and helping the club win a pair of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles. Seattle selected him with the first overall pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.

“As someone who wants to one day work with young players on a day-to-day basis, this is a great opportunity for me to start learning some valuable lessons in a great setting,” Zakuani said. “I know the Stars name very well, as does the whole soccer community in this region, so it’s great to be involved with the organization in a direct way now.”

The Stars open their season on Oct. 24, and their home opener will be Nov. 6 against Sacramento. The head coach is former Sounders player and Academy Director Darren Sawatzky.