Seattle Sounders Notes: Injury Updates, Blaise Nkufo Retiring, Groupon News

Steve Zakuani is apparently nearing a return to the Seattle Sounders lineup. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

It was a bit of wild day in Soundersland today, with a host of stories of various levels of importance breaking. Most of that stuff is clearly off-the-field. Rather than throw together a bunch of short posts, I figured it would be better to lump them all into a single post of Seattle Sounders notes.

Most importantly and relevantly, it looks like Steve Zakuani, Nate Jaqua and Brad Evans are all approaching full fitness. Zakuani appears to be in line to start after missing Saturday's game against the New York Red Bulls, and Jaqua is apparently ready to make his 2011 debut.

"I think it’s been good," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. "I think the team has responded well. I thought the training was good. Again, it was a short week for us because of the travel day and a day earlier with the game but that’s OK. We got our work in. It was good to get some guys back in the mix, like [Steve] Zakuani and [Brad] Evans and [Nate] Jaqua were able to do a full week of training so I thought those were all positives."

More notes after the jump

Sounders team up with Groupon: As you may or may not have heard, the Sounders offered tickets on Groupon this week for Friday's game against the Houston Dynamo. It was the first time the Sounders had partnered with the discount website. A Sounders official told me that there are no current plans to partner with Groupon again, but indicated that they've received positive feedback about the offer and that other games could be sold in this way again. The official indicated that the team had been interested in working with Groupon before, but that ticket availability had made that impractical. 

The seats were in the all-inclusive sections in the upper deck and sold for $16, a discount of $21. The 350 tickets offered sold out just a few hours after it went on sale on Tuesday. 

Blaise Nkufo reportedly retiring: It should come as little surprise, but it looks like Nkufo has played his last competitive match. A report out of the Netherlands says the striker is hanging up his boots after a career that spanned 17 seasons, featured more than 200 professional goals and ended after just 11 matches with Seattle.

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