It had been 15 months since Steve Zakuani last played in a match after Brian Mullan broke his leg, but on Saturday night at CenturyLink Field, he was back, coincidentally against Mullan and his Colorado Rapids team. And while Zakuani was a great story all on its own, as big of a story was the Seattle Sounders' nine-match winless streak, but that streak is no more. That is because the Sounders picked up a 2-1 win, and along with the Zakuani return, made for a near perfect night in Seattle.
Marking on crosses was a problem for the Rapids all night and it led to both goals Seattle goals. First, Alvaro Fernandez was left completely unmarked on a corner kick so without a defender anywhere around him he had no problem nodding in the ball from Mauro Rosales. Later, Eddie Johnson was able to get free at the top of the six-yard box so when Rosales crossed he had an easy finish to double the Sounders' lead.
Later on, Omar Cummings scored to bring the Rapids to within one, but it wouldn't be enough. The Sounders had their three points in the bag.
With four minutes to go, Zakuani came in off the bench to cheers and chants from the Sounders' faithful. A win and a Zakuani return made for a great match, but then the match got a signature moment too when Zakuani and Mullan traded jerseys and embraced after the match. It was a great moment and a signal that things were back to normal, in its own way. Zakuani is playing and the Sounders are winning. Just like old times.