On the heels of a 4-12-2 season the Gonzaga Bulldogs are spending some extra prep time over in Western Washington playing some friendlies. The series of games began with a match against the Seattle Sounders MLS reserve squad Sunday and continues against a pair of USL PDL clubs.
Sunday’s match, a 4-0 loss for the Zags, garnered an unusual amount of attention for a reserve match as it marked the long-awaited return of star Steve Zakuani, who was knocked out of the 2011 campaign on a nasty tackle that resulted in a fractured tibia and fibula nearly a year ago. He was only scheduled for 20 minutes, but ended up playing a full 45.
With the PDL season kicking off in May, the Zags will serve as a tune-up for the North Sound Seawolves (Edmonds, Wash.) April 14 and the Seattle Sounders U23 (Tacoma, Wash.) April 15.
“This is a great chance for me to see how these players play together in a game situation,” SeaWolves coach/owner Alex Silva said. “It’s also an opportunity for me to evaluate some of Gonzaga’s players. I’m really looking forward to the game and it’s a great chance to raise some money for Marysville Youth Soccer, which has been a great partner to the SeaWolves.”
"The Gonzaga game gives us an opportunity to evaluate players for the U23’s and see the progress of our former academy players,” Sounders U-23 Head Coach, Darren Sawatzky said. “We also want to make sure we give local college programs quality spring games."