Home Featured Mullan gets record suspension; no action taken on Leathers

Mullan gets record suspension; no action taken on Leathers

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Brian Mullan

Major League Soccer has issued the longest suspension in league history.

Colorado Rapid Brian Mullan is the new owner of this dubious mark, after MLS lengthened his red-card suspension to a total of 10 games after last weekend’s studs-up challenge that broke the leg of Seattle’s former No. 1 overall draft pick, Steve Zakuani, in two places.

Zakuani is expected to require at least 18 months to come back. If you have a strong stomach, you can find the highlights here, but FOX was right to not include a slow-motion replay.

“The Disciplinary Committee determined that Mullan’s challenge was reckless, egregious, and showed utter disregard for the safety of his opponent,” read a statement from the league. “Mullan will be suspended for a total of 10 games and fined a total of $5,000, including the automatic one-game suspension and $250 fine for receiving a red card.”

The previous record for suspension length belonged to Houston’s Ricardo Clark, who got nine games for kicking Carlos Ruiz in the head back in 2007.

Mullan was fined $5,000 for the Zakuani tackle (even though tackle isn’t really the right word), while Clark was fined $10,000 back in 2007 for the Ruiz kick.

Last season, according to stats provided the MLS Players’ Union, Mullan made nearly US$190,000 last season, making him one of the highest-paid players on the MLS Cup champs’ roster.

Sounders’ GM Adrian Hanauer made the following statement: “In situations such as this, the game is robbed of its brilliance. Steve Zakuani is a young, talented and highly entertaining player. He will be missed, and we all wish him a full and speedy recovery.

“As a league, the Commissioner has stated his intention to be more protective of dynamic, attacking players. Hopefully this suspension is a step in the right direction.

“However, the harsh reality of this situation is that no length of suspension will bring back Steve to action any faster.”

And, no discipline was issued to Vancouver’s Jonathan Leathers. League MVP David Ferreira was broken Saturday in Vancouver after a Leathers’ challenge. No foul was called on the play — as the ref on the field saw nothing wrong with the tackle on FC Dallas’ star.

In a case where no red card is issued, the Disciplinary Committee must rule unanimously to suspend or fine a player.

“The committee reviewed Leathers/Ferreira play and decided no action was required,” wrote league spokesman Will Kuhns in an e-mail.

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