Steve Zakuani isn’t going to play for the Seattle Sounders this year. If you love charity games, that’s a great thing, as it means the Zakuani and Friends charity match is back. On Sunday, July 2 (tickets are available) , a handful of former United States National Team stars, Sounders and Seattle legends will take the field. The current confirmed players list is great — Steve Zakuani, Eddie Johnson, Brian Ching, Chad Ochocinco (a late scratch in ‘16), and Marshawn Lynch.
UPDATE: This remains Lynch's plan, despite coming out of retirement to play for the Oakland Raiders.
Yes that's the plan. NFL training camp is late July so he's in. If that changes we'll communicate it https://t.co/ahKFB6dqpx— Steve Zakuani (@Zakuani11) April 26, 2017
Now, the concept of Lynch going Beast Quake in a soccer game is fascinating. Marshawn’s post-Seattle Seahawks career is all about fun. He opened a retail clothing line with stores in Seattle and Oakland, California. He drove a golf cart through the Cal Bears’ pregame training. And he did Running Wild with Bear Grylls.
Playing soccer isn’t the oddest thing Lynch will do this year.
Who else should join MLS stars in raising money that will go towards area youth soccer scholarships? Here are nine local legends on our list.
Jay “Trucks, Trucks and More Trucks!” Buhner - now an ad man and occasional analyst, Bone earned his fame by hitting home runs, drawing walks and striking out, a lot. His cannon of an arm won’t translate to soccer, but that’s just fine. He can play keeper, since it’s likely that he already hunts, fishes and hangs out in treehouses with Marcus Hahnemann.
Lauren “Lo Jack” Jackson - Australia’s best basketball player won titles with the Seattle Storm. Her post-up ability was unrivaled in the WNBA, primarily due to her footwork. If any pick-up game wanted a near perfect target woman, that’s Jackson.
Kim Little - Kim didn’t retire, but she won’t be playing for her club during the Summer (though Scotland does have the UEFA EURO tournament at that time). The team that gets her in the Zakuani and Friends game gets a ringer. Little puts in great defensive effort while controlling an offense. Plus, she needs to be back in Seattle so Laura can steal her back.
Walter Jones - Offensive Linemen often get mocked for their athleticism, but people who do that are mean and dumb. Jones’ footwork is otherworldly. Dude should be on Dancing with the Stars. Imagine sending up a free kick toward Big Walt!
Nate Robinson - One of the best defensive backs in Huskies history, winner of multiple slam dunk competitions, Nate is now schooling D-League talent. His post-NBA career shows a dedication to the joy of sports. He even tried out for the Seahawks, just because he could. The tiny guard is one of the best athletes pound-for-pound in U.S. history. Plus, watching Nate rise up on a corner kick would make anyone smile.
Puts "between the legs" dribble into different perspective— rok (@rokos) March 2, 2017
via Nate Robinsonhttps://t.co/BB2FMcMEnY
Miesha “Cupcake” Tate - The Tacoma native retired from MMA with an 18-7 record. The one-time champion would add some defensive bite to a game that often runs up the score. Charity matches should include take-downs, not just goals. That’s a great way to get someone a penalty goal.
John Ross - Kid hasn’t retired, yet. He hasn’t even played professionally. He ran a 4.22 combine. With John Ross, a coach has some who is both a left back and a forward at the exact same time.
Willie “Boom Boom” Bloomquist - The all-effort, all-positions former Mariner will try harder than any one. He’s a Kitsap legend who could bring huge crowds from the West Sound as he plays every position on the field.
Jon “Ginja Ninja” Ryan - I’m selfish. Plus, sometimes you need your goal kicks to go 75 yards and bury the other team in the corner. Also, I’m selfish. Ryan competed in American Ninja Warrior so he’s more than “just a punter.” Also, I’m selfish.
Steve, we’re begging you, bring out more of Puget Sound’s greatest athletes. Bring back Landon, if he’s retired for real [insert winky emoji]. Also, bring back Fucito, because I’m still me.