MLS- Seattle Sounders

Reckless tackle leaves Zakuani with broken leg

Steve Zakuani (ISIPhotos.com)

Seattle Sounders star Steve Zakuani looks set to miss the rest of the 2011 season after suffering a horrific broken leg early in Friday's Colorado-Seattle match.

Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan broke Zakuani's leg when he raced in on a reckless challenge just seconds after being involved in a sequence where he felt he was fouled. Mullan raced in on Zakuani, who was dribbling down the sideline, and crashed into Zakuani's planted right leg, which was clearly broken by the challenge. Mullan was immediately issued a red card.

We'll update with an official diagnosis of the injury as soon as one is made available.

In case you missed it and want to see the challenge, you can see it after the jump (Be warned, the challenge is not for the squeemish):



  • Rory

    Interesting that Mullan went in Knees-first, not legs first, was this to hurt as so many are claiming or is it because as he moves to slide it appears Zakuani has broken free and is going to be long-gone, only Zak isn’t free, Kimura has ahold of his hand and he doesn’t make it free… if Kimura doesn’t have his hand then it is quite possible Mullan, who is sliding on his knees hits Kimura as Zakuani was going to be long gone by then.

    A nice slow-motion close up would go a long way towards clearing this up.

    It is also interesting that one dirty play makes you a dirty player. I guess Landon Donovan is a hotheaded jerk forever more after leaning over and yelling at the Houstan player a couple seasons ago by that logic, huh? Of course Becks is a dirty player for that red card against Chivas USA too, and Brek Shea, well, he’s Hitler for all the stupid fouls he’s done.


  • Paul

    Nobody ever has an “intent to injure.” But Mullan obviously had an intent to retaliate, and given the circumstances, the tackle was a clear attempt to punish somebody on the Roaids for the non-call. It’s the worst kind of foolish, dangerous, reckless play. A disgrace.


  • biglustythonggrl

    Indeed. You can replay it frame by frame all you want, but looking at the clip in its entirety IT IS ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that Mullen is pissed from him being tackled just a couple of seconds prior to tackling Zak. I’m a fan of neither team, but its obvious when Mullen throws his hands up from the perceived no-call and immediately goes for the ball that he’s moving with the rapidity of a hothead. In fact, it looks like he doesnt even get a chance to register who the Seattle player. I dont care how much Mullen makes, the fine needs to be between 25k to 50k. At that moment, he was a hothead. He should probably be out till midseason.


  • biglustythonggrl

    i say let Baldomero Toledo decide. he’s the most fair ref/judge i’ve seen in all of sports, whether in domestic competitions or international ones (even fairer then olympic judges).


  • biglustythonggrl

    yep, rodgers need to be fined for that, and be required to sit out a game or two. the video shows a clear throwing of a punch. the league needs to step in here.


  • Mike Caramba

    Sepp – I know his intent because he could have challenged for the ball if he wanted to. He instead chose to lunge into Zakuani’s legs using his entire weight. My psychic powers played a minimal role in my ability to make this determination.


  • Seattle Sad Fan

    Thank you. Why exactly do people need to watch this frame by frame? No one thinks he tried to break another players leg, however he allowed his emotions to cloud his judgment. It was a brutal and classless tackle and you could see that in any speed.

    He should be handed the stiffest punishment allowed to not only set a president in the MLS, but to show future players in other countries that American soccer won’t tolerate this type of play and actually cares about elevating its game.


  • Sean

    Why would anyone antagonize a clearly volatile dog and then punish the dog for retaliating?

    That is beyond me.

    The punch was not even a real punch. Get over it. Players know Rodgers reputation and are going to try and exploit it.

    In my opinion, that’s just as dirty as a punch. Completely on the same level. Dirty playing.


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