Not exactly the face of a monster, eh?
I guess like every other complex human being on earth, Brian Mullan isn’t as good as he appears at his best nor as monstrous as at his worst.
He was very close to his worst April 22, 2011, when he seemed to enduge his frustrations with a reckless tackle that certainly altered and could have wrecked Steve Zakuani’s career.
His immediate reaction that night — that he had made the tackle many times before and would again — was an unappealing mix of insensitive and insincere. And yet his regret expressed at CenturyLink Field earlier this year registered as heartfelt.
Zakuani and Mullan didn’t speak during that earlier Rapids visit to Seattle. Maybe tonight. Or maybe not — Sounders coach Sigi Schmid doesn’t like tipping his hand about his game-day rosters.
But it’s possible Mullan and Zakuani will both be in uniform and perhaps even share the pitch for the first time since that day in Colorado. That would be nice. Zakuani himself has cited that as a final marker that needs to be passed before this thing can begin to approach closure.
Yet even that has its limits. There should be no statute of limitations on what Mullan did. Even if Zakuani goes on to make an MLS First 11, he’ll never get back these 15 months — and counting — of his career. When Mullan’s retirement story is written, his reckless tackle should be mentioned in a paragraph up near the top.
But that said, Mullan is more than a thug. And Zakuani is more than a victim. Here’s hoping there’s some significant step along the road to closure tonight.