Brian Mullan’s Harsh Tackle on Steve Zakuani

Harsh tackle is an understatement, just a horrible challenge by Mullan that broke both Zakuani’s tibia and fibula. Mullan lost the soccer ball and then goes in hard with his cleats up. Straight red card for Mullan. No place in the game for a tackle like this. Shouldn’t even be taught by youth soccer coaches in players just starting out in the game.

Update: Brian Mullan has been suspended for a total of 10 games and fined $5,000 for the tackle on Steve Zakuani that broke his leg.

I wish defenders would learn how to tackle hard but avoid destroying the career of the skillful soccer players. There’s a way to knock the player off the ball without taking out his legs. I’m wondering too if the turf at something to do with Zakuani breaking his leg, since perhaps he leg got caught or stuck under his foot more in the turf.

See Mullan’s brutal tackle on Zakuani in the video below. Mullan was upset that he lost the ball and didn’t get the call from the referee and took it out on Zakuani.

Now, the question is, how long should Mullan be suspended for the tackle? Many have called for a Mullan suspension as long as Zakuani is out of the game, which would be at least the rest of the season. Others have set 10 games at a minimum.

Really though, it’s just a sad, sad day for Zakuani, the Seattle Sounders, and the MLS, as Zakuani is one of the league’s most exciting young players. In truth, he’s destined for bigger leagues, but this setback will delay his moving on to Europe for some time.

This is what Mullan had to say about the hard tackle and breaking Zakuani’s leg. He obviously appears shaken and sad, with tears in his eyes, but to say that he would do the same type of tackle again is just not right.

Over 14 months since Steve Zakuani’s broken leg, Brian Mullan and Zakuani exchanged jerseys following the Seattle Sounders vs Colorado Rapids match on Saturday July 7, 2012. I hope the Sounders will pay for Zakuani’s physical therapy for the rest of his life more or less, since I’m sure he have leg issues for a long time to come. Players should have long term insurance provided by the MLS or the club.

Some said Mullan should just retire while others said he shouldn’t be able to play until Zakuani is back on the field.

In a comment made before the league took its disciplinary action, Hanauer told the Seattle Times what he felt should be done.

“I think maybe a good answer is Mullan gets to play when Steve is back on the field,” he said.