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Léo Chú will wear No. 23 as an homage to Michael Jordan

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This will be the first time he’s worn that particular jersey.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

TUKWILA, Wash. — There are many hallowed numbers in soccer, most notably the Nos. 9 and 10 that are usually worn by teams’ primary playmakers and scorers. The reason a player will choose one of those numbers is often self-evident. But it’s always interesting to hear why a player might choose a less sought-after number.

In the case of newest Seattle Sounders signing Léo Chú, his choice to wear the No. 23 jersey has nothing to do with soccer.

“It has to do with always liking the No. 23, also because of [Michael] Jordan,” Chú said through an interpreter after Thursday’s training session. “I am a basketball fan and when they told me that number was available, I chose it.”

Chú, who will also have his both his first and last name on his jersey, had previously worn 18, 26 and 53 at various times in Brazil.

Chú was first able to show off his jersey choice during a brief on-field ceremony prior to the Sounders-Timbers game on Sunday. It was apparently Chú’s idea to remove his jacket, pull on his new jersey and kiss the badge.

“It was an indescribable feeling,” Chú said on Thursday, noting that virtually his entire professional career had been played in front of empty stadiums due to Covid-19 concerns. “I had never experienced a full stadium. It’s one of my best memories of my life.”