Brian Mullan’s Harsh Tackle on Steve Zakuani
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.
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. 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.
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.