Fouls and Cards Being Reviewed

Fouls and Cards Being Reviewed

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 26, 2011
  • Brian Mullan, David Ferreira, Jonathan Leathers, Steve Zakuani

Steve Zakuani will now face a long recovery. (Getty Images)

Like I mentioned yesterday, week six in Major League Soccer was a pretty ugly one. While the Red Bulls and Galaxy were stomping their way through their games, most of the folks out there were yet again focused on the fouls and one non-foul that hurt two big stars in the league.

The last couple days have been a guessing game on Twitter and at various sites. Most seem to think the tackle by Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan on Steve Zakuani deserves at a minimum of five games suspension. Intent and Mullan’s background as a nice guy comes into the fold when looking at these sorts of things which could ultimately save him in the end from getting what Ricardo Clark got back in 2007 when he kicked Carlos Ruiz while he was on the ground. Clark received the highest penalty given by the league, 10 games (nine games plus the normal one game ban for the red card).

Is Mullan’s tackle worth ten games? Most Seattle Sounders fans would tell you that they think so. His comments after the game probably made it worse however as he said it was a tackle he’s done a hundred times and would likely do again. He apologized to Zakuani but the manner of the way he did seemed more like a forced thing and not a real one by Mullan. It probably didn’t help that a camera was shoved in his face after the game to do it, I’d be willing to bet that a day later his comments wouldn’t have sounded so ass-hole like.

The league is currently reviewing this challenge and the one by Vancouver defender Jonathan Leathers on FC Dallas midfielder David Ferreira.

The tackle by Leathers isn’t as cut and dry as the Mullan one. Mullan’s had some intent behind it when he didn’t get a call just moments before his reckless tackle on Zakuani. Leathers was trying to play the ball and instead came in and got Ferreira instead. Interestingly enough there was no foul given, no card shown and all Dallas got was a corner kick that they actually scored from.

Leathers’ tackle was easily more clean than Mullan’s and I never felt that his tackle was meant to injury Ferreira. As a writer who covers Dallas a lot, you’d probably expect me to be all in rage over the tackle but I’m not. Leathers was playing the ball, not the man, and unfortunately for Ferreira his foot got stuck in the fake turf causing the injury.

Should Leathers’ have been carded then and there for the challenge? Probably so. At least a yellow seems fair as he didn’t get that much of the ball and he did come in from behind in a ways.

Again, the league is reviewing these two tackles. Mullan’s deserves a harsh penalty in my mind. I think the league has to come down hard on challenges like this one and give it a pretty lengthy suspension. As for Leathers, not so much. I’d be shocked if he even received a suspension here.

What did you make of each foul? Think Mullan deserves a long suspension? Does Leathers? Let’s hear it.


  • Dizzo

    I think Leathers could and maybe should receive a one game suspension. The league needs to send a message that dangerous tackles will be punished. I would personally like to see less tackles from behind in MLS because they always do have the chance of injury.