Here is Brian Mullan's reaction after his tackle in tonight's game broke two bones in Steve Zakuani's right leg:
“I’m sorry for Steve. It was never my intention to injure him in the least. It’s a tackle that I’ve done hundreds of times and would probably do again. I had no intention of hurting him. It’s a freak, freak thing, and I apologize and wish Steve a speedy recovery.”
My immediate reaction is that this answer doesn't pass the smell test. No, Mullan almost certainly didn't intend to send Zakuani to the hospital. But did he intend a little payback by dumping Zakuani after he himself had been dumped without drawing a whistle a few seconds earlier? It sure looked that way.
If I were commissioner Don Garber, I would take that "and would probably do again" very seriously.
In any case, here's further reaction on the incident:
From coach Sigi Schmid“Once we hear everything and know everything we’ll be able to say, but right now it’s just hearsay and speculation. It’s definitely a serious injury he probably won’t’ be traveling back with us. I’ve coached Brian Mullan. He’s an aggressive player. No player goes into a tackle like that trying to hurt a player. He’s an aggressive player and it happens.”
Defender James RileyOn Steve Zakuani’s injury:“It’s a tough one. I know Brian Mullan – I’ve been playing against him for the past seven years, he’s a Colorado guy. He’s full throttle and he’s a great guy. It was an unfortunate tackle. It looked like a hard tackle before I even got over there and to have what happened to Stevey is obviously unfortunate.”
Fredy MonteroOn Zakuani’s injury:“It’s sad to see a teammate go out like that. He’s a very important player and we’ve just got to continue moving ahead with whoever replaces him. But it’s sad.” From Rapids coach Gary Smith: “Brian is not that sort of intending player, he’s very competitive. It was mistimed. I’m sure when I look back on it, the decision was right. We all certainly give our best wishes to Zakuani for speedy recovery. No one likes to see those sorts of injuries, no one likes to see anyone sent off. Brian’s a very genuine guy and I don’t think there is any serious intent there.”
Colorado midfielder Pablo MastroeniOn if the injury to Steve Zakuani affected the team:“Obviously it affects anyone, regardless of what team your on you never want to see. It’s real unfortunate. I think at the end of the day, I think the response was great from the guys. We were able to find some decent possession on their side of the field with ten men, so I think we did a good job of quickly putting that behind us and focusing on the task at hand.”
On Brian Mullan:“A guy of his character, I don’t think there’s any player in this league that for a second would think that Brian would egregiously attempt to hurt anyone. He’s a classy individual and has proven that over a great career. I think that even (Steve) Zakuani is a guy that would understand that Brian is a guy that plays hard all the time, and it was an unfortunate incident. But I don’t think for a second that anyone in this locker room, that other locker room (Seattle) or anyone in the league would think of Brian as a guy that has the propensity to do something like that.”