What should punishment be for latest ugly tackle and injury?

JavierMoralesHurt (Getty) 

 

Javier Morales became the latest victim of a horrific leg-breaking tackle this weekend, and now Real Salt Lake is left without its creative leader while MLS must assess what to do with Chivas USA striker Marcos Mondaini, the man who delivered the tackle.

Having just suspended Colorado midfielder Brian Mullan for ten games for his bone-snapping tackle on Steve Zakuani, MLS is very unlikely to take it easy on Mondaini. With Morales joining Zakuani, reigning MLS MVP David Ferreira and D.C. designated player Branko Boskovic on the list of attacking players to suffer long-term injuries due to rough tackles, MLS will need to seriously consider whether or not to hand out another lengthy ban.

In case you haven't seen the Mondaini tackle on Morales, here it is.

Our question for you is similar to the one we asked of the Mullan tackle. How long do you think Mondaini should be suspended for? Think the tackle was worse than Mullan's or think the circumstances merit a shorter suspension this time around?

Cast your vote after the jump:

How did you vote? Think Mondaini's tackle was worse than Mullan's or think it was just a clumsy challenge that doesn't merit a double-digit suspension?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Chivas USA, MLS- Real Salt Lake. Bookmark the permalink.

120 Responses to What should punishment be for latest ugly tackle and injury?

  1. Elliot says:

    He should have to be out until Morales comes back. Seems fair, right?

  2. MicahK says:

    They should start docking a lot of pay for bone breaking tackles this is getting very ridiculous. -___-

  3. Jon says:

    Its worse as Mondaini had just got burned and had no chance to get ball. No chance ro get ball should be season or permanent ban.

  4. PeeSeeDubyaTwo says:

    I think this tackle is more comparable to Leather’s on Ferreira (player beaten for pace, tries to recover with a clumsy, lunging tackle from behind) vs, Mullan’s (frustrated player doesn’t get call, loses head and mows over an opponent with no intention to play the ball).

    Tackles from behind, injury or not, should always be ejections. period. the. end.

  5. Rowsdower says:

    Maybe I missed it but where is the outrage on the board? This tackle was worse than Mullan’s IMHO, yet where is all the people screaming for Mondaini head?

  6. Rowsdower says:

    Except Mullan actually played the ball.. again you have no idea what his intentions were and neither do I.

  7. viequense says:

    If a player is suspended is he still getting paid the same as if he was playing? Is it like a paid vacation? If so I think there should def. be some kind of monetary penalty also!

  8. fightPlaque says:

    another paid vacation..

  9. Matt C in Tampa says:

    Rowsdowner: The outrage is not as “outragee” as Mullens’ tackle b/c you could actually see that the injury was obvious and gruesome. Unless there’s another view on the Morales injury, it doesn’t have that “Warning…graphic contact” feel about it.

    Hopefully, “gruesomeness” or “shocking footage” are NOT factors MLS considers when doling out punishment.

  10. Ja Ja James says:

    I think the video and especially the audio of Mullen’s tackle had a lot to do with the outrage. I think this may have been worse since the tackle was from behind.

  11. georg says:

    15 matches and a heavy fine, Mondaini earns $45.000 per year, his fine, and all future fines should be 20% off salary $9.000.00. I know this sounds extreme but maybe longer suspensions and huge fines will curb some of the violent play.

    I would also consider some type of sanction against Officials that lose control of matches like happend in the Chivas vs RSL match.

  12. Tony says:

    If Mullan got 10 games for his tackle Mondaini should be at least 3-4 games more. If you compare the rules to the actions Mullan came from the side and was a step late. Without injury, thatd be a yellow card in most leagues with a red depending on the style of tackle (two feet, leave the ground, etc.)

    Mondaini is a red card all day, everyday. He’s late, from behind, wrong side of the body so he never had a chance at touching the ball. The injury only adds to it. 15 games ban. Period.

  13. RSLFan says:

    Being suspended from Chivas is probably an act of charity. Still, 10 games.

  14. Dan says:

    Maliciousness should not come into it, intent to injure should not come into it. On both the Mullen and the Morales, but even more obviously on the Morales, the intent was to foul, not to play the ball. I don’t care if you are the nicest, kindest guy in the world, if you intentionally foul someone with a dangerous tackle, not going for the ball, and you injure them, you should be out for a long, long time. I voted 1115 games, not because this was worse than Mullen’s necessarily, but because that warning had just been laid out to then entire group of MLS players, the message needs to be sent stronger and stronger until players get it.

  15. soccer lee says:

    they need to do something serious to stamp it out of the game altogether.. fines, bans or whatever but you need to give the next guy the thought that his tackle could have serious implications to his season.. money and opportunity to play soccer

  16. shane says:

    +1

  17. Bryce says:

    I didn’t agree with Mullan’s 10 game ban. Terrible challenge and he certainly should have been suspended, but 10 games is ridiculous. You can’t base a suspension on the outcome of the tackle, only the tackle itself. That kind of frustrated happens a lot in every league around world (except for La Liga, they never tackle anyone jkjk). If someone got a 10 game ban for a tackle like that in the EPL everyone would think it was insane.

    I don’t think this tackle should be punished by anything more than a normal red card. It wasn’t malicious, just a poorly timed, poorly executed, clumsy challenge. MLS can’t levy punishment everytime someone gets injured by a bad tackle. If the guy hadn’t gotten hurt no one would even be talking about this tackle, so to talk about it now is just as ridiculous.

  18. RSLRob says:

    This was a terrible tackle and deserves the same punishment as Mullan. That being said, I think its difficult to argue that Mullan “played the ball”. Had he changed the angle of his tackle by 30 or so degrees, yes he would have played the ball, but he wasn’t even close to pointing at the ball when he went into his tackle. I think what you are looking for is “could have played the ball”. In my mind, both tackles involved players not playing the ball and both deserve the same ban.

  19. poqui says:

    Every serious injury caused by a “professional” foul should carry the same penalty: one more game than the injured person with the pay being donated to some MLS charity and the aggressor’s slot still counted towards his team’s active player count. It’s fair and simple.

  20. poqui says:

    +1

  21. Chris says:

    tackle was way worse than Mullans. Mullan’s tackle was excessively hard with two feet, but he had a play on the ball. This is one is is flly from behind with no play on the ball. Both players had broken bones. At minimum, this should be a 10 game to be consistent.

  22. Hincha Tim says:

    That was not a clumsy tackle. A clumsy tackle is a tackle coming from a legitimate direction (not from 180 degrees to the rear), no studs up that is mis-timed. The player made a deliberate decision to foul (tackle from behind). There is a reason that tackles from behind are banned. It’s because they cause injuries like this. When a player chooses to tackle from behind they know they are increasing the chances of injuring the player they are tackling. Any tackle from behind like that regardless of result should result in a very stiff fine penalty, or you will have more like that.

    The problem is the league is not cracking down on BS defensive plays (tackles from behind, “professional” fouls, grabbing in the box. The result is fewer goals. A good example is the same RSL game. Saborio was grabbed as he was about to go 1 v 1 vs the keeper and the defender only gets a yellow??? Grabbing in the box during corners is the same, rarely if ever called on the defense. Clean up the cheap fouls and the game will open up, more goals will be scored and most importantly, great players like Javi will not be cut down.

  23. JJ says:

    You are the 1% of the population that thinks Mullan played the ball. The league made it clear that they don’t agree with you either. Yes, this was a scientific poll. So you can’t argue with me; it’s science.

  24. poqui says:

    +1

  25. MidWest Ref says:

    Mullan’s was a red card all the way too. He came in more from the side – but he was unsighted by the player he fouled and he was looking for retribution from not getting a call earlier.

  26. Watched it Live says:

    As a RSL fan, I want to say as long as Morales is out. Eye for an eye type punishment. KInowing that isn’t going to happen, I would say 12+ games. Mullen received the 10 game, this still happened. The MLS needs to keep upping the suspension and fine until this crap stops.

  27. jsf says:

    I’m not sure what a fair punishment is. However, I am tired of hearing about “clumsy” season-ending tackles. These guys are professional athletes and have the ability to pull away from contact at a split second. Perhaps, they did not “intend” injury, but they certainly intended contact.

  28. Robinswood says:

    Right here. The problem is that I don’t think MLS is taking the problem seriously. If they were, they’d do a whole lot more than hand out suspensions (like take money and put this on an ascending scale of punishment). They’d start their own officiating academy, hire their own refs, and hold them accountable. It’s gotta stop and, in my mind, it doesn’t until we essentially ruin the game with yellows and ejections for recklessness (as well as intention). We all suffer during that transition but, ultimately, I believe we come out the other side a better, more entertaining league.

  29. RB says:

    Already time for the league to show that they really mean it and are going to be fair and consistent.

    Or not.

  30. JJ says:

    Mullan’s was malicious, this was not. Both were equally reckless. Both were equally devastating. Keep sending the message MLS.

    12-15 games and more $

  31. He had no intention of getting the ball. He wanted to bring him down for a free kick instead of letting him into the box. So he kicked him.
    Intent-wise this tackle was worse than the Mullen tackle and I’m a Sounders fan.

  32. lassidawg says:

    Why shouldn’t you base the suspension on the result of the tackle? It does make a difference, if Zakuani didn’t break his leg it should have been a 3 or 4 game ban. This tackle should have been a straight red whether or not Morales was hurt, if he isn’t hurt then make it 2 or 3. The idea is to prevent these kinds of tackles

  33. Bryce says:

    Simple? So what if some commits a counter-attack foul (intentional but not meant to injure or malicious or even terribly dangerous) and the guy he does it to happens to be particularly injury proned and tears his ACL. You are saying he should be out for the better part of a year for that?

    What happens if someone makes a bad tackle on a guy that decides to retire because of the injury? Does he have to retire?

    Anyone who wants to base a suspension off of the extent of the injury is just so far off base. With that brilliant idea players could lose tons of money (and lets be honest some MLS players don’t make a boatload of cash to begin with)and miss a lot of game time which affects their futures because of a mistimed tackle.

  34. JJ says:

    He didn’t go in as hard. He didn’t go in as close. He didn’t go in as angry.

    Yes, he went in to take the player down. Yes, it’s an obvious red card with additional suspension. 9 times out of 10 Mullan’s tackle severely injures a guy. 1 time out of 10 this tackle severely injures a guy.

  35. lassidawg says:

    If you watch the video it was the second time in the sequence that he fouled him. I didn’t see it live, but did I hear correctly that he only received a yellow. If that is true that is a joke.

    If you have no shot at the ball and you take a guy down it should be red no matter what. I think it should be one game longer than Mullen, add 1 game each time a player does a dumb tackle. They will stop at some point.

  36. Jack says:

    This starts and stops with the players and the culture.

    It is also a top-down manifestation. Look at the players we have called into our national team…

    Gooch
    Demerit
    Jones
    Clark
    Bradley
    Casey
    Edu
    Wynne
    Holden
    Larentowicz
    Caroll

    To name a few.

    Even at the USMNT level, the culture apparently values hard and reckless tackles. With the exception of Holden, all of those players are known as enforcers and hard tacklers. This is the prototypical American midfielder/defender. Rough, hard tackles and aggressive plays.

  37. Reid says:

    There is outrage, but its becoming futile. It seems as soccer and all other sports the only things leagues take seriously critisizing a ref or the league. Anything else is a slap on the wrist. I think the average sports fan can see a banana thrown on field at a black player and the team gets fined $8500.00, its a joke. A player puts anothers career in danger and gets a 2.5% fine on his earnings for the year, another joke.

    A lesson will not be leared if these leagues keep going with slaps on the wrist.

    The NHL seems to be a league that 7 times out of 10 will put their foot down, but they are really the only ones.

    p.s. i know racism and rough play are completely different… i’m just comparing the amount of the fines.

  38. Gunnersfan66 says:

    This is a chance for the MLS to send a very clear message to the players. Suspend him for the rest of the season. It may be a bit unfair to this single player, but someone must be the poster boy for bad tackles and the consequences that follow them. A ten game suspension for previous players is clearly not a deterrent to poor, emotional, high tempered judgement.

    Suspend for the season, bring a clear and absolutely punitive punishment.

    What if this happens to Henry, Donovan, Angel? Then will the MLS take a stronger stand? This is what you have the chance to prevent, otherwise we only have ourselves to blame that a 10 game suspension is all you get for breaking someones leg, or worse yet, ending someones career.

  39. HIncha Tim says:

    I find your post laughable (not in a good way). A tackle that is always a foul (coming directly from the rear) that you admit has a 10% chance of severely injuring a player is no big deal and only deserves a red card?????

  40. Erik the Orange says:

    I think for the MLS, consistency in this kind of punishment is paramount. I also think that injuring or INTENT to injure should be ruled as the same. I don’t think you can make a blanket statement and say a player deserves a 10 game suspension just because of a broken bone. MLS needs to look at these infractions independently, but they have the door with Mullen’s suspension. If found to have malice, this foul needs to carry the same suspension.

  41. Gunnersfan66 says:

    So, Bryce, its fair and sportsmanlike to play bad tackles? Thats not what the game allows for, your taking away from the game to allow such hard play, this is not tackle football. So how would you create a deterrent? Punitive, fierce punishments. Simple enough.

    For many years, tackles have become a lost art, the value of the game, the players, and the fans is much more important. Imagine if Messi was taken out by such a tackle at Barcelona, can you imagine the punishment handed down? Morales was defenseless, couldn’t see behind him, and had no idea the tackle was coming, so would you simply issue a red card? I highly doubt it, your talking tens of millions of impact by such a stupid play. Punishments should be severe for such play, the entire game and integrity of a fledgling league are at stake.

  42. JoeW says:

    1. I’m not a fan of any of the teams involved so I think I’m somewhat dispassionate and objective about this. I do wish that FIFA would institute a policy that professional fouls that result in injury means the player involved is out for as long as the injured player is out. That said, you can’t say “you injure player X so you’re out as long as he is” b/c a lot of injuries are just run of the game. Two guys go up to head the ball, one suffers concussion syndrome so you ban the other guy for life? Of course not, it would only be for professional fouls–intentional fouls that injure. And I don’t think this qualifies plus it would be groundbreaking to do this.

    2. This foul deserves strong punishment–for a couple of reasons. First, people will say things like “you see tackles like this in the Premiership all the time.” But the difference is that a team like ManU or Arsenal (or even bottom dwellers) can afford to have several skilled players. In a capped league like MLS, you lose Morales and you get a roster exemption but it’s still a cap hit that you can’t replace. DCU loses Boskovic and they still take a huge cap hit with no ability to replace him. If Henry went down, NYRB could bring in a USL replacement but not another DP. So the competitive implications for MLS are major which is why it’s good for Garber to announce at the start of the season the need to go after hard fouls and why it makes sense to rachet it up even further (ala the Mullen suspension). Second, this foul deserves significant punishment b/c the league is too physical. NE is a great example of a team that plays hard and punishes skilled players (knowing that if you get kicked enough times by enough players your game is likely to lose focus or you start limping). It’s not just about going in for every 50-50 ball and playing aggressively, it’s using hard play as a weapon (or in many cases, as a substitute for skill). That kind of play used to be the American player’s calling card–run hard, tackle hard, chase very ball, never give up. But now it’s clearly holding back the development of skilled play.

    3. It’s laughable that people would argue that Mullen was “going for the ball” or that the two fouls are exactly comparable. Mondaini’s foul was not only a bad result but it was stupid. It happened b/c he was beaten, he goes in on Morales’ left leg (when the ball is on his right foot). It’s either a really stupid tackle or an attempt to bring down Morales and foul him without seeking to get the ball (b/c he can’t each the ball by going on his left side). So it’s a foul that deserves more than your standard 1 game suspension. I’d say 5 games.

    That said, it’s not even close to Mullen’s circumstances. Here’s why:
    –Mullen lost the ball earlier, appealed for a foul (not called) and then ran across the field to get to Zakuani. Any of you who’ve played the game have seen that happen before: a guy is going to administer “pay-back”. Whether he comes close to the ball or not is irrelevant, he’s looking to knock someone down and he’s pissed off.
    –Mullen has a history of borderline play where he’s very pissed off and does this play/tackle maybe a hundred times (at least several dozen times in his career) and it just didn’t result in a compound fracture until this time. But that’s exactly the kind of play that can easily produce terrible results b/c it is a player either out of control or almost out of control emotionally.

    To try and justify Mullen’s “tackle” ignores the reality of the circumstances. Mullen was pissed off and determined to make someone pay and that’s what happened. Mondaini may have been pissed off (though I think not), in his case it was either a deliberate foul OR a really stupid tackle. But it still deserves an extra penalty.

  43. Rev up those Revs says:

    He should be taken out to the shed and shot. No one would care, nothing of value would be lost. If the Don had to chose between Morales and Micky Maldinoni Mochini he takes Morales every time and shoves random Chivas player X off the cliff.

  44. srfinger says:

    These sorts of tackles will only be stopped when rash tackles that do not lead to injuries are also punished.

    Jakovic got lucky that Cameron’s plant leg came free when he flew in on him last week. Just because Cameron didnt end up in the hospital does not mean the tackle was not extremely dangerous.

    If you come flying in in a reckless manner or from behind, you shouldnt have to break someone’s leg in order to be punished.

  45. Don says:

    Coaches should also be held responsible for this type of play. Did you notice how quickly each coach of the offending player came to his defence?

    Did you notice how many other coaches in the league came to an offending player’s defense? They all took the same line. I know this player. He is a “hard player”, not a dirty player. He had “no intention to hurt”. As long as coaches encourage and reward players for being “hard”, they will be “hard”. As long as players of little skill are encouraged to be “hard”, skillful players will be scythed down.

  46. jp992751 says:

    link to youtube.com
    Warning this shows an foot that shoe that appears to have detached from it’s leg. I imagine this is the “view” that needs to be seen to show the outrage.

    “Warning…graphic content”

  47. JJ says:

    I didn’t say “no big deal” or “only deserves a red card”. You missed the “additional suspension” part. I’m saying this is a terrible tackle, but one we see often without severe injury. Mullan’s was in a class all its own.

  48. Dillon says:

    MLS is not allowed to hire and train their own referees because it would be in violation of FIFA rules. If the MLS tried to do that the Federation and National team would likely be suspended.

  49. fischy says:

    It shouldn’t be based only on the result. Bale has ruptured ankle ligaments, but Adam doesn’t deserve a really huge suspension — though I think he should have been red carded.

    The tackle here was from behind, with no real effort to get the ball — he just rolls up the leg as he swipes out the other one. Also, one has to consider MLS’ position. The league needs to send a signal to international players that the league will protect them. I’d say another 10-gamer + fine.

  50. Mark says:

    Have all the players who have suffered broken bones in past weeks (Morales , Zakuani, Ferreira, even Gareth Bale) wear Adidas F50 Adizero soccer cleats?

    Not to blame it on the shoes but it seems a worth while observation for a lightweight soccer shoe with little protection. I guess if these were metatarsal injuries it would be an closer correlation. Just an observation.

    (SBI-Sounds like somebody works for Nike. Haha.)

  51. k says:

    Mullen got 10 games and $5,000 so; the player should get 12 games and $10,000, and the coach should get 3 games and $5,000. The next tackle like this should be 15 games and $15,000 for the player and 6 games and $10,000 for the coach. You see where I’m going with this? This needs to end now.

  52. Adam M. says:

    I would suspend him for one more game than Mullan, and the next player who breaks a leg gets one more game than that, etc. Broken legs resulting from clear fouls are qualitatively different and should be treated as such. If Mullan was a warning, the next offender deserves a greater punishment having been warned. This amatuer hour &^$! has to stop.

  53. Alex says:

    I think the NBA did a pretty good job – there are so many times a player can get taken out from underneath after they absolutely crush a guy on a dunk, but they don’t, because they know Stern would have his head on a platter.

    That’s the goal, I think. NHL may be able to hand out suspensions, but the NBA has done it so well they don’t even need to do it anymore (caveat that Bynum body check) for the most part.

  54. Matt C in tampa says:

    Ok. i guess i asked for that. Oh my!

  55. Sin2r says:

    Yes, Bryce, this isn’t american football and it is called a foul for a reason. It is a foul because it offends the game and it is against the rules. The rules call it a foul because it should not be part of the game.

    You intentionaly foul that results in injury, you should be out as long as in injured player you foul. Yes, the injury should be taken into account. You want to know why? Because the tackle that didn’t hurt didn’t strike the same location with the same forece so it has to be a different tackle from the one that hits a location with enough force to cause the injury. So, the injury matters.

    I called for season ban on Mullan or longer.

    I think Leathers should have gotten more because it looks like he goes through Ferrera to get the ball.

    Clean up the game MLS.

    I was at the game and saw the injury. Entire crowed stunned to silence. Then the Chivas fans started cheering, while Morales lay screaming in agony.

    Classy Chivas.

  56. Sin2r says:

    It likely was malicious. Maldanini was playing physical and making poor decisions the entire game. Look back on his foul on Robbie Russel before he took out Morales. He was playing angry. Take the fact that Morales just made Maldaini look like a school girl, and it appears to me to be retaliation. He retaliated against Russel, and he retaliated agaisnt Morales.

    Ban him from league or at least until Javi is back.

    MLS, give DL cap relief when such an eggregious foul results in a season long injury. Give it to Seattle. Give it to FCD. These three teams are now hamstrung due to the salary cap.

  57. Rory says:

    No, the MLS Fan mob has already ruled that no offender should be able to play until Steve Zakuani is healthy to play, right?

    Now where do I pick up my torch and pickfork?

  58. rory says:

    Mullan played the ball. At least it is possible to play the ball from the side, as opposed from behind as was the case in this tackle.

    I agree with Alexi Lalas, this was MUCH worse than Mullan’s tackle.

  59. rory says:

    There is no outrage because the outrage about Mullan was inspired greatly because people were jealous or felt cheated that Colorado won the championship last year.

  60. Erik the Orange says:

    If you have the ability to know what’s going on inside a player’s head, or anyone’s head for that matter, I think you may have a future in poker or maybe politics??

  61. Luke says:

    Agreeing with Alexi Lalas only emphasizes your ignorance…

  62. bryan says:

    no way mullan tried to play the ball…

  63. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Thugs out.

    I voted 9 -10

  64. rory says:

    NO, the time to show consistency will be when a David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Theiry Henry type throws down a stupid tackle that COULD hurt someone… then the league needs to prove their isn’t one set of rules for stars/players on big-draw teams and another for the Colorados of the league.

  65. bryan says:

    terrrrible foul. 10 games at least.

  66. Seb says:

    Best reply ever in the history of SBI!

  67. josh says:

    In my opinion the Mullen tackle was alot worse, simply because of the intent behind it. As Mullen was frustrated and made the reckless challenge.

    In this case you can see how Mondaini was trying to go around Morales and sweep the ball but failed miserably. In fact he even pulls back on the tackle and doesn’t fully commit but by then it was too late. That said if this had happened during a time in the league that was not having a problem with reckless challenges then I would think you would not see as severe as a punishment Mondaini is going to get.

    By the way those that say he should be out the whole year need to stop already. That will not happen nor should it happen for this challenge.

  68. Ben says:

    Actually, you can base the suspension on the outcome of the tackle, just like we base a punishment for a crime on the outcome of the crime. Thus, we have murder and attempted murder. Even our legal system discerns the difference in the outcome, so I think it can be done for soccer.

  69. giaco says:

    Agreed.

  70. JMR says:

    Need to change my vote. Did it based on the MLS video. In seeing the youtube link it is much worse. While I don’t believe it was a pay back foul like Mullan’s it needs to be punished more severely to get the message across to the coaches and players in the league. 11-15 games. Serious monetary fine.

  71. Tony in Quakeland says:

    “It shouldn’t be based only on the result”

    People keep saying this, but that’s not the way the law works. Simplest example: punch a guy in a bar, get arrested for assulat. Punch a guy in a bar and he dies, get arresed for murder.

    The result MATTERS.

  72. patrick says:

    there was no play on the ball from Mullan. You’re either a colorado fan or haven’t seen the replay enough times.

  73. Mhat says:

    I really, really doubt that.

  74. Vince Clortho says:

    Reckless foul to kill the play. More than 10 games.

  75. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    1115 games? Man 31 seasons seems awfully harsh.

  76. JoeW says:

    What silliness–I don’t pretend to know what Mullen was thinking. But here is what I SAW: Mullen faces contact, loses the ball, appeals for a foul, stamps his feet when he doesn’t get it, his face shows a scowl, he makes a bee-line for the ball (even though it’s not near him) and he goes in hard. And as a former player and coach, I’ve seen that happen multiple times. In some cases a player intended revenge, in some cases the player was just angry–I didn’t know (b/c I can’t read minds) which it was. But in all cases it was PAYBACK, on the first available opposing player.

    Additionally, separate from my opinion, I suggest you check what Steve Davis wrote–about how Mullen has a history of borderline aggressive play, the sort of stuff where he seems on the verge of being out of control.

    Maybe Mullen wanted to hurt Zakunai. Maybe he was so angry he couldn’t even tell what player it was. Maybe it was coldly calculated. But in any way you slice it, he acted and displayed behavior and his tactical reaction displayed “payback”. Would you disagree?

  77. CR says:

    That, or because it was an obviously wreck less challenge made out of frustration with no regard for human safety.

  78. JoeW says:

    Boskovic suffered ACL and a broken leg (evidently not on the same tackle but different plays). I don’t believe he was wearing F50′s.

  79. CR says:

    I would put Holden more on the victim side.

  80. RB says:

    Sorry, but yes, the time is now.

    What you’re talking about will ALSO be the time, sure, because it goes without saying that players should be treated equally.

    Which is why the time is now for them to show they’re going to be fair and consistent.

  81. J says:

    I agree that the offending player’s team/coach should also be held somewhat accountable for these awful tackles (if that’s where you were going with that).

    Let’s step up and fix this MLS. It sucks that the teams affected by these injuries – RSL, Dallas, New York and Seattle are teams that play the most attractive football. Maybe something along the line of partial cap relief at compliments of the offending player’s team?

  82. CR says:

    Anyone else like it when Kyle Beckerman comes in to confront Mondaini? Something about a captain defending his players and going straight at the offender rather than the ref that I respect.

  83. Paul says:

    Like JMR, I’m changing my vote. Looking at the video turned my thinking (and my stomach). While it didn’t have the frustration/revenge aspect of the Mullan foul, this play had practically no chance of succeeding *except* by hurting the other player — the defender literally had to go through the attacking player to get at the ball, and did so from the worst and most dangerous of angles. It was like running over Morales’s ankle with a car.

  84. Glenn says:

    This was exactly what I was thinking. That was no accident and it was from behind. He has taken Morales away from his team. A fair penalty would be to take Mondaini away from his team until Morales can return and do it without pay. If Morales never can come back then neither can Mondaini

    This crap must stop and until the league makes it so painful, people won’t even think about it… it will continue.

  85. Erik the Orange says:

    I would disagree. I think to call a tackle payback is a bit juvenile…apologies, I’m not attacking you, I just think the wording is a little vague. If there were payback to be doled out, Mullan would have gone after the opposing player he believed to have fouled him. I would agree that Mullan was rather saying to the ref, ok, if I didn’t get the previous foul, then the parameters of the game have been set, and I will act accordingly. That said, I agree that his intent was to make a very rough, physical play on the ball (if you see, he did get some of the ball, however he got a LOT of Zakunai). I understand I’m splitting hairs, but payback doesn’t fit. My opinion.

  86. Darrick Warner says:

    I most certainly agree. Mondaini may not have intentionally caused the injury but he is responsible. Therefore, he should be accept the consequence of his act and not be allowed to touch a soccer ball in the MLS until Javi is able to compete at the level he competed before the injury.hat

  87. Bryce says:

    That is an extremely broad generalization and applying our legal system to soccer by analogy is ridiculous. You are applying something where someone has intended to murder someone to something where someone is making a bad tackle (because that is what’s illegal not breaking someone’s leg). By that analogy any bad tackle should be punished by the same standards regardless of outcome (because the outcome is not what is illegal, the action is) whereas in murder the outcome is what is illegal (or at least another level of illegal).

    With murder and attempted murder these are crimes where someone has intentionally tried to end someone’s life. It is nearly impossible to say that either of the tackles involved were meant to injure someone. Mullan’s tackle had some malice to it and I think it should be punished but a 4 or 5 game ban is enough to deter someone from tackling like that. 10 games is just excessive. This latest tackle was not meant to hurt the other player, just meant to bring him down.

    In my opinion a player should not be punished because something he happened to do illegally caused a severe injury. He should be punished separately for the intent and malice involved in his tackle (something that is taken into account in murder trials if you still want to follow that logic).

  88. Bryce says:

    “Because the tackle that didn’t hurt didn’t strike the same location with the same forece so it has to be a different tackle from the one that hits a location with enough force to cause the injury. So, the injury matters.”

    See this is what bothers me. Someone could use the same force and have the same intent and malice and the other guy’s foot could happen to be in a more/less stable position changing the entire outcome of the foul (from a broken leg to no injury whatsoever). It is arbitrary to base punishment on an injury.

  89. LA G says:

    You must dock the players and coaches pay for every tackle like this one.

  90. sciroccer says:

    The MLS had better step up this time! This was worse then Mullans, no chance at the ball. I think the BIG ISSUE here should be that this happens after the the other tackles, after the MLS “supposedly” dealt with it! Apparently not! IF the MLS is serious??? Mondaini should be suspended for the year/season and fined $10,000.00. Maybe, MAYBE! then these guys will stop! Consider this- Mondaini makes $45,000.00 and gets paid for playing like crap! But he just cost the league $400,000.00 for one malicious tackle!!! As someone who was there a RSL S.T.H, I feel personally ripped off by this! If I was going on just emotion’s here- CAN HIM AND BAN HIM!!!!!!!!!!

  91. sciroccer says:

    Beckerman was quoted in the local papers here, as saying- at first glance he thought Morales’s cleat came off, and then when he realized what it really was, he wanted to slam someone. I can tell you this, Chivas are lucky the Sandy City police stepped up, or they were going to be mobbed. There were people jumping out of the stands. It was a bad scene.

  92. sciroocer says:

    I love it!!!

  93. knolljus says:

    I watched that little weasel Jack Wilshere from Arsenal try to do the same thing against Stoke just this weekend. Real punishment needs to be doled out to those who continue to play like this, I am looking at you Jonny Evans, Nigel DeJong.

  94. alexis says:

    3 life sentences with out parole.

  95. RB says:

    Simultaneous or consecutive?

  96. Bronmaderine says:

    Apparently the “message” the league meant to deliver with the Mullan suspension wasn’t received.

    The problem is that the league is fining the wrong guys. If MLS really wanted to change they would fine the clubs who employ guys who commit these fouls.

    Had the MLS had taken Colorado’s 1st round draft pick and awarded it to Seattle THAT would have sent a message. Seattle also should have received salary cap relief for the year to go get a suitable replacement. Same goes here.

    And I reject the slippery slope argument. There are clear differences between fouls like Mullan’s and Mondaini’s where there is no attempt to get the ball, and fouls where guys are going for the ball and accidents happen.

  97. plug713 says:

    Too many people have posted on this topic for me to have read them all, so this comment may already have been made. This string of serious injuries resultimg from horrific tackles simply highlights the utterly inadequate job done by MLS game officials in controlling play. The problem has persisted for the entire history of MLS and has never shown any signs of improvement. Rough, chippy play must be addressed immediately by game officials and retaliatory fouls must see yellow or, when necessary, red cards without hesitaion. Failure to control play adequately inevitably leads to players taking matters into their own hands, resulting in just the sort of injuries the league has seen this season. If necessary, MLS must, in my view, look overseas or to Mexico to find and recruit competent game officials.

  98. Poulet says:

    It was way worse than Mullan’s tackle. He tackled from behind and the ball was so far, he had not even the wildest chance of getting it. A tackle from behind is always way more dangerous than one from the side. His suspension has to be of A LEAST 10 matches.

  99. skinnyj says:

    The ultimate problem lies with the league and the officials. I’m not sure if the league can instruct the league to issue cards esaier or if the officials are under FIFA’s omnipotent rule. This tackle is a result of too many unpunished tackles. How many times do we see a tackle/foul that should be a card and yet the ref doesnt have the card out? How many times has he only handed out a yellow when it should be a red? I guess they’re trying to not be the center of the game and unduly influence the outcome. I think we’ll have to see several 8 vs. 9 games before players start to clean up their dangerous play.

    For the last several years, it’s obvious that opponents’ game plan is to hack and foul Morales and other creative attacking players like Ferreira and Lunberg. Refs are too slow to issue cards. That is why these players appear to dive and fake a little with the hope of getting some sympathy from the official. Without it, the cards stay in the pocket, our best players get hacked down by goons, and coaches keep calling the same game plans. Clean it up by being stricter on the field, not after by means of a few weeks off and a paltry fine.

  100. Brent McD says:

    you missed it. see
    link to soccerbyives.net

  101. SReed says:

    Then lets use the example of Drunk driving. Does not have to have intent, mitigating circumstances (i.e. impaired judgement = mullan not getting his call). Get in a car wreck. Should the punishment be the same when someone is killed with when someone is not killed. Because you are saying that the results have no bearing. All drunk drivers should be dealt with the same.

    You reall are an idiot that will defend his own opinion no matter what even when there is clearly no basis for that opinion to hold up anywhere in the world.

  102. RSLin208 says:

    It’s really sketchy when all of these “tackles” are directed at star players.

  103. Ben says:

    I’ll try to do my best to parse your highly idiosyncratic use of language. First, it’s not “a broad generalization,” though you do finally realize that it is actually an analogy. So, I’m not sure why you are going on chattering about that a soccer tackle isn’t murder, which misses the entire point of the analogy. Without getting too long winded, the refs “police” the game; they are there to enforce rules. The league acts as the judicial branch in deciding fines and suspension, just like their analogoues counterparts, the judges. So, as should have been obvious from the analogy, because “malice aforethought,” is so hard to establish, we look at what form the end of the action took. So, if someone shoots a gun, regardless of intent, they are going to be punished more harshly if they kill someone than if they don’t. I’m not even sure you understand your last paragraph.

  104. Seattle!Sounders! says:

    Mondaini can rot in hell!

  105. Mark says:

    Haha… in retrospect that post does sound like a plug. No I don’t work for Nike.

  106. papa bear says:

    this is far worse than Mullan’s challenge. In Mullan’s case he actually had half a shot at playing the ball. I know a lot of people have read into his ‘intent’ and all that BS but the fact remains he was still in a position where the ball could be played. Did he intend to injure Zakuani? I have no idea and neither do you.

    This was just a stupid tackle from behind and tackles from behind are never, ever EVER legal. Ever. So whether he got all ball or not, it is an illegal maneuver. This should be more than 10 if Mullan’s was 10. (and no, I’m a Fire fan not a Colorado fan)

    Some of you are getting too worked up about this kinda stuff too. I hate to see guys hurt but it happens. Sorry. I’ve seen people get a dislocated/broken ankle on a 100% legal challenge before many times. Accidents happen. This is a contact sport after all. Stop sounding like cry babies.

  107. Sir Knox says:

    Any contact with the ball by Mullan was purely incidental. He launched himself at Zak and contacted him with his knees first.

  108. Sir Knox says:

    +1
    clean up the cheap fouls
    MLS doesn’t need to be a ‘physical’ league
    it needs to be a good league that plays good
    football

  109. Battier says:

    Yes, I knew the Mullan suspension was too light. This is going to continue until MLS gets tough. What a cheap-shot…A scissor slide tackle from behing with no chance at getting the ball. Disgusting MLS!

  110. Cherub G says:

    No, there was no intention to play the ball here…It was impossible at his angle. Get these hacks out of the league or the influx of good players will stop.

  111. Jake says:

    No…Both deserve more punishment…MLS has to do more to stop this garbage

  112. Ibaho says:

    BS…whether it’s from behind or the side they both terrible cheap shots. If you want to vent your aggression, be a man and legally shoulder the guy off the ball. Get these sissies out of MLS!

  113. Gerraldo says:

    No arguable the 2 best players in the league are done for the year…MLS needs to wake up. 10 games and pocket change is way too light!

  114. PetedeLA says:

    I totally agree with JJ.

    I wouldn’t be so hard and fast with the stats as JJ, but I’d agree. More often than not, the player goes down and gets right back up.

    But we have to remember that flair players are often made of glass.

    Remember Robben being out for weeks after he basically tripped on his own leg.

    It was what’s called a tactical foul. It’s certainly worth a red card. I’m on the fence about the rest.

  115. PetedeLA says:

    To be perfectly honest, nearly all fouls that warrant straight red generally have a high chance of resulting in serious injury.

    Think of the elbows we see fly sometimes. Players could seriously injure an eye.

    Like I said in my earlier post, I’m on the fence as to the severity of the punishment after a red card.

    In the big leagues (England, Premiere League, La Liga) you see those types of fouls all the time and it only results in a red most times.

  116. TimN says:

    As clumsy and poor of a challenge as this is, I don’t think it’s quite as bad as Mullan’s. Mullan’s was clearly out of frustration and anger for the previous no-call a few seconds earlier. Mondaini’s tackle could perhaps be argued as trying to make a play for the ball. However, he came from behind, and his tackle was clumsy and late. I think 6-8 games and perhaps a fine is fair, which is a little less than Mullan’s 10 games.

    Whatever the punishment, this is a real shame for Morales and RSL…I just hate to see guys get hurt like this because of another player’s lack of control.

  117. talevins@gmail.com says:

    I think Mondaini should be ejected from the league, banned, and permanently. No suspension. Why should the MLS tolerate a player who intentionally fouls another and rips his foot from his leg? Morales will never play the same. This could even end his career, or effectively end it. The players should not have to tolerate hack defenders willing to go for blood, and neither should the league, and neither should the fans. If I were on RSL I would have dreamed of personally stomping Mondaini’s cranium in. Imagine the cries for blood if this were Charlie Davies! This, and the Zakuani foul make me physically sick. I’m just getting into the MLS now, but if this continues I’ll find better things to do than watch a bunch of cretins swipe at one another.

  118. RSLRob says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

  119. Patricio says:

    Even more disgusting was Ale Moreno arguing the red card in the ref’s face for 15 minutes while Morales was down..