BY Stanley Holmes 07:56PM 03/28/2011

Nkufo announces his retirement

Blaise Nkufo ends his impressive professional soccer career on American soil and plans to go into youth coaching and help them “realize their dreams.”

Sounders striker Blaise Nkufo during the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals against Los Angeles on Halloween night. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Blaise Nkufo, the veteran striker with more than 450 appearances and 200 goals during a 17-year career, has decided to retire from professional soccer, Seattle Sounders FC announced today.

“During our relationship we have found Blaise to be both a gentleman and a great sportsman,” said Adrian Hanauer, owner and general manager. “We wish him all the best and believe that, much as he did on the pitch, he will find great success in whatever he chooses to pursue in the future.”

In a statement, Nkufo said he will continue to live in North America, or Vancouver, B.C., and pursue some youth-coaching opportunities.

“In announcing my retirement from playing, I want to thank the Sounders organization and their fans for making me feel so welcome in Seattle,” said Nkufo. “I also would like to extend my gratitude to my teammates and wish them great success.”

Nkufo, 35, joined the Sounders on July 15, 2010, and went on to score five goals in 11 MLS matches. Those goals came during the first three matches of an eventual four-game win streak. Nkufo became the first Seattle player to register a hat trick, scoring three times in a 4-0 victory at Columbus.

“My plan is to stay in North America,” said Nkufo, “and I look forward to opportunities where I can work with young players and help them realize their dreams to play at a high level.”

Prior to joining the Sounders, Nkufo represented Switzerland in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, completing his international career with 27 caps and seven goals. He played the previous seven seasons for FC Twente in Enschede, Holland. Twente won the Dutch Eredivisie in 2010 and Nkufo scored a club record 114 career goals in league play.


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  • Gunner4Life

    Notice that just like Ljungberg, there is no comment referencing Schmid. That omission is lound and clear — another Euro spurned by Schmid.

  • Pedregosa Joe

    Agreed- as much as we all love Sigi, time to start asking the really hard questions about sticking with him. Hard to imagine a college style of soccer + lacking a willingness to work to bring out the best in the veteran pieces provided for him rather than running the veterans out of town. I have a feeling the real story goes beyond Ljungberg ( easy to dismiss due to his persona) and Nukufo. Ask the vets that left and you get an interesting peak into a troubled club. I hate to say it, but the next one out should be Sigi.
    Would any Seattle reporter with chops have the guts to track down each former Sounder vet and get their stories?

    • Stanley Holmes

      Interesting observations, Joe. I believe the issue, as always, is more complicated than that. The Blaise and Freddie exits were justified as was the aging Vaganes and Marshall (high salaries didn’t help either) to name a few. I’m sure all of these guys had issues with Sigi. Would love to hear more.