For how long will Chivas USA forward Marcos Mondaini be suspended after fracturing and dislocating Real Salt Lake star Javier Morales' left ankle?
Almost a dozen, if Real Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman has his way.
Beckerman and other RSL players told The Salt Lake Tribune they think Mondaini, a 26-year-old Argentine, should receive sanctions similar to those assessed to Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan, who was banned 10 games and fined $5,000 after grotesquely breaking Seattle Sounders winger Steve Zakuani's leg last month.
“He's one of the best best players in the league, so it’s not only bad for us, it’s bad for the league that he’s not going to be playing,” Beckerman, RSL's captain told the newspaper. “I'm sure [Major League Soccer] will” heavily penalize Mondaini.
The Chivas forward's awkward tackle from behind on Morales, in the 37th minute of RSL's 1-0 victory Saturday in Sandy, Utah, left the his countryman's left ankle gruesomely bent outward at a nearly 90-degree angle. Morales, 31, was to undergo surgery Monday, and his club says he will sidelined four months, but The Tribune reported that most players in RSL's locker room do not expect him back until next season.
Zakuani's injury was considered season-ending.
MLS's disciplinary committee will determine whether to extend Mondaini's suspension (currently at one game, for the red card) and increase his fine (the standard $250), and if it does so, the sanctions likely would be announced Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
RSL coach Jason Kreis said after the game he “didn’t think it was the most flagrant of fouls” nor particularly “egregious,” and Chivas coach Robin Fraser, a former RSL assistant coach, termed the tackle “clumsy” but “not malicious.” But Will Johnson, who scored the Utahns' goal, says he thinks Morales' stature -- he's MLS's premier playmaking midfielder -- should carry some weight with the committee.
“Obviously, I don’t think the guy meant to break the leg, and there wasn’t malicious retaliation …,” Johnson told The Tribune. “But you’ve broken the leg of one of the best players in the league. Maybe that shouldn’t matter. But for me, it does.”