SEATTLE - JULY 25: Steve Zakuani #11 of the Seattle Sounders FC is congratulated by Blaise Nkufo #9 after scoring his second goal against the Colorado Rapids on July 25 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
It's hard to know if this really qualifies as news at this point, but Blaise Nkufo has officially announced his retirement. This comes on the heels of reports out of Holland, where Nkufo became a legendy at FC Twente, saying similar things.
"During our relationship we have found Blaise to be both a gentleman and a great sportsman," Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer said in a team release. "We wish him all the best and believe that, much as he did on the pitch, he will find great success in whatever he chooses to pursue in the future."
The writing has been on the wall ever since Nkufo and the Sounders suddenly parted ways just before this season started. Although the timing of that move was hardly ideal, and it was reportedly the result of some disagreement over how he was going to be used, Nkufo had nothing but nice things to say in the release.
"In announcing my retirement from playing, I want to thank the Sounders organization and their fans for making me feel so welcome in Seattle," said Nkufo, who scored five goals in 11 matches with the Sounders. "I also would like to extend my gratitude to my teammates and wish them great success."
From the Sounders' standpoint, nothing really changes. They stil have an open Designated Player slot, as well as some salary cap room that would allow them to sign an impact player. While Hanauer has essentially promised to not allow that cap space go to waste, there has been no word on when such a signing may occur.