It was the elephant in the room that few made note of, until today.
Last Saturday marked Seattle Sounders winger Steve Zakuani's first game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park since suffering multiple broken bones in his leg during a match two years ago.
In an interview with The Seattle Times posted on Thursday, Zakuani talked about his emotions leading up to the game and made special note of the support of the Rapids fans.
"I don’t know if you guys saw, but as the game started, a section of Colorado fans were singing my name," Zakuani told The Seattle Times. "That’s probably the most emotional moment I’ve had on the pitch, having opposing fans singing my name."
Zakuani made his return from the injury last fall in an emotional game against the Rapids at Century Link Field in Seattle. Following the match he and Colorado veteran Brian Mullan, whose challenge in 2011 caused the injury, embraced in a sign of sportsmanship that became the feel-good moment of the year in MLS.
On Saturday Zakuani lined up on the left wing and was marked by Mullan, who was playing right back. When Zakuani was subbed out in the second half, both players showed how they've moved.
‘He just kind of said, 'slow down next time,’" Zakuani told the newspaper of Mullan's words as he came off. "It was just pure banter."