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This is why I'm going to the Zakuani & Friends Charity Match

and you be there should too

Jane G Photography

Seattle Sounders broadcaster and former number one overall pick Steve Zakuani is hosting a charity game for the second straight year. The May 15th 2-4 4-6 PM event at Starfire promises to be a lot of fun, light-hearted soccer. Adidas is helping host, and that explains some of the names you're about to see, but not all of them. The get in price is just $25. So get in, I am.

Reason the first; Kingdom Hope

Steve's charity does good work, both in Africa and here locally. I'm biased, Sounder at Heart has supported his efforts before, way back when we watched Santos Laguna trounce Sounders 6-1. Since then Kingdom Hope has grown a lot. They've given a scholarship to a local youth soccer player and helped Eric attend university in Rwanda.

Reason the second; It's the day after my birthday

I keep getting older, so I might as well have fun doing it. Several of my favorite players all time will be at the event, so I might as well have a soccer party.

Reason the third; Steve Zakuani

He was the first ever player I interviewed for Sounder at Heart. From chatting with him about sociology of man, to watching him train nearly 30 women how to play soccer, I've watched Steve do more than just play soccer well, but to continue to develop as a person.

Reason the fourth; Mike Fucito

He was the second ever player I interviewed. I created a cult. He's going to play. It was 2011 when I last saw Fucito play for the Sounders. This isn't quite the homecoming I always dreamed of, but it's going to be a special moment for me and anyone else in the Church of Fucito.

Reason the fifth; Landon Donovan

There's a reason that the MVP award is named after him. He's the greatest player that made MLS his league of choice for the majority of his career. He's one of the top five American players of all time. Unlike some prima donna types, Landon's played at Starfire before. Plus, I like that Landon took time away from the game for mental health. That's as important as any other kind of health. Watching him play again will be joy.

Reason the sixth; Dwayne De Rosario

An argument could be made that he's the best MLS player by the above criteria. It's a close contest. Without a doubt he's the best Canadian the league has seen.

Reason the seventh; Eddie Johnson

Following EJ on social media now is different than when he was a player. There's something calmer and happier to him. The GAM is all growed up, sharing his love of the game with fans in Florida and Seattle still. Like Zakuani EJ didn't get to choose to leave the game, his health took the game from him. I want to see a couple stepovers again.

Reason the eighth; Nate Jaqua

People used to make fun of how Jaqua looked when he ran. Now he runs ultramarathons. Nate brought a funky vibe as either a forward or Seattle's first target winger. Unlike most of these guys in the game he can still run for miles, about 100 of them.

Reason the ninth; Roger Levesque

Roger continues to glow. Some people play with fire, or grit, or determination. Levesque plays soccer and lives life with a smile. If you can't enjoy watching Roger play soccer you don't know enjoyment.

Reason the tenth; Jhon Kennedy Hurtado

Jhon is generally quiet and reserved, but those that got to know him know that Jhon Kennedy fell in love with Seattle. He'd do anything to play in front of these fans again, so he gets to do it for charity.

Reason the eleventh; Ochocinco

Yeah, the NFL great.

Sure, that could fall through, but my goodness, it would be so much fun to watch him out there trying.

Reason the twelfth; We're Sounders

We do good things for our people. Steve is one of us. This is a good thing, that will raise money for good causes and you will have fun.

These are the twelve reasons I'm going to the Steve Zakuani and Friends Charity Match. I'm betting you can think of a few more.

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