Colorado Rapids coach Gary Smith and captain Pablo Mastroeni were quick to defend Brian Mullan after the the tackle that saw the experienced midfielder sent off.
Neither complained about Mr Petrescu’s decision to award a red card and both were unambiguous in their view that no harm was intended.
Head Coach Gary Smith
On the injury to Steve Zakuani and the red card to Brian Mullan:
“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 (Steve) 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.”
On Fredy Montero’s goal:
“The goal that they scored was their first attack, and I would think their mindset changed a little bit when they scored. And after that they did a very good job of keeping their goal intact. I though the players attacked it well, with good energy, reasonable possession. I thought all in all we couldn’t threaten their goal enough and were not able to get back in it.”
On not being able to get back in it:
“Honestly I think there were so many things that didn’t go our way. I’m sure the call was right (red card), but going down to ten men after three minutes is certainly not going your way. I know we have our own control over that, but the goal was pretty soft. It goes through Matt’s (Pickens) legs. Maybe the fact he didn’t strike it properly was the problem.
There were so many things that weren’t right. I don’t know whether that was because of the injury, or we were playing a man down. Our final pass wasn’t good enough; when we got in good areas we never made enough of it – there wasn’t enough cutting edge. When we ended up 2-v-3, the inspiration to make the chance just wasn’t there tonight. Even the guys that came into the game, while they added some energy, the impact you’re looking for from guys like Sanna (Nyassi), who are very talented, wasn’t there. You’re asking a lot of these guys, with ten men and really playing against the odds, somebody’s got to step forward and make a name for themselves.”
Midfielder Brian Mullan
On the tackle to Steve Zakuani:
I’m sorry for Steve (Zakuani). 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.”
Midfielder Pablo Mastroeni
On if the injury to Steve Zakuani affected the team:
“œObviously 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 andÂ 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.”