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Seattle Sounders Midfielder Steve Zakuani Gets First International Call

Steve Zakuani, eligible to play for the United States, England, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been called up to the Congo national team for their friendly against Mali on Wednesday. While he could have elected to play for the United States, it would have meant a three-year wait, with no possibility of fast-tracking the citizenship process. Instead, Zakuani, who was born in Kinshana, the capital of DR Congo, has elected to represent the country of his birth.

Wednesday's match is just a friendly,but the Sounders midfielder is already concentrating on the future. There's the Africa Cup of Nations, in 2012, to prepare for--DR Congo has not qualified for the tournament since 2006. And, of course, there's Brazil in 2014. The Democratic Republic of Congo has only qualified for the World Cup once, way back in 1974, and they were eliminated in the first round. The speedy Zakuani, with ten goals in MLS this season, is definitely a player that can help the nation realize its football ambitions.