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April 14, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Brian Mullan: “For that to happen to (Zakuani) on my watch is something that I will never live down.”

mullan mug.jpgReporters got a chance to talk to Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan after Saturday’s game, which marked his return to Seattle for the first time since breaking Steve Zakuani’s leg last year. Here is the transcript of that conversation:

* * *

(Are you glad this is out of the way?) “Very glad.”

(What were your thoughts coming into the game?) “Very apprehensive leading up to it. ‘Apprehensive’ is the best word for it. It’s a lot of great fans in this city. A lot of nerves leading up to the game, and I applaud the fans. They did a good job and conducted themselves professionally and consistent with their reputation of being very good.”

(Did you try or succeed in getting in touch with Zakuani on this visit?) “Through intermediaries I have tried to set up a face-to-face apology. He was very open to it. It has not happened as of yet.

(Are you hopeful it will?) “I’m very hopeful.”

(Have things been easier for you in trying to get past the emotions of the incident in seeing the progress that Zakuani has made recently?) “I wouldn’t say it’s easier. Don’t get me wrong — I’m pleased. I want him back on the field more than anybody. He’s a great player. For that to happen to him on my watch is something that I will never live down.”

(Zakuani’s only complaint was your comment about the tackle immediately after the game. Is that still your assessment?) “I don’t know if you’ve watched me play since then, but it’s completely changed my game. When I made that comment, I had no idea of the extent of his injury. Right after the tackle, I didn’t even see him. I was swarmed by their team — rightfully so. I had no idea of the extent until I was actually leaving the stadium and the team chaplain told me the extent.”

(When do you think this can be over for you?) “I don’t think it ever can.”

(Does going through this weekend help at all toward that end?) “The only thing it helps is I know what to expect now. That’s about it.”

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