SAN JOSE, Calif. – San Jose midfielder Shea Salinas said Tuesday that he’s already forgiven New York’s Rafa Marquez for the physical takedown that drove him to the pitch in the Quakes’ 2-2 tie with the Red Bulls on Saturday.
The broken left collarbone Salinas suffered on the play, however, won't be mended as quickly.
Salinas is scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday to repair his left clavicle, which broke into four pieces when Marquez ran Salinas into the turf and landed on top of the speedy winger’s shoulder. A plate and screws will be inserted to repair the damage, and Salinas said he’s been told by his doctors that he’ll miss at least six-to-eight weeks.
Salinas said the bone broke upon impact, and the jolt was such that Marquez’s kick a moment later failed to register in his mind.
REPLAY: Salinas takes boot from Marquez
“I didn’t realize he had kicked me until I saw the replay,” Salinas said in a conference call Tuesday morning. “When I landed hard, I had a shock of pain, and then my ears were ringing. And then Bruce (Morgan, the Quakes’ athletic trainer) was out there. That’s all that I know that happened. . . It was just kind of a weird thing to do. I don’t know Marquez personally. I don’t know what’s in his heart or what goes on in his head. The play itself was not very nice.”
Salinas couldn’t help shed any light on Marquez’s motivation, although he did point out that the Mexican national team star had used similarly rough tactics – “atypical,” Salinas said, even by MLS’ physical standards – on San Jose’s first two corner kicks. He and the Quakes’ coaching staff actually complained to the referee after the earlier corner kicks.
“The two previous corner kicks, Marquez had done pretty much the same thing . . . wrapped his arms around me and kind of threw me to the side,” Salinas said. “No one had said anything to Marquez. I feel like if someone would have just said something to Marquez, like, ‘Hey, we’re watching you,’ maybe this could have been prevented.”
While Quakes fans and the organization wait expectantly on the MLS Disciplinary Committee to take action, Salinas is unconcerned about what kind of punishment, if any, is meted out to Marquez.
“The last thing I want is for this to happen to someone else or to keep going on in the league,” Salinas said. “But it’s not my place to judge what should happen to Marquez. I honestly don’t really care too much what happens to him. I forgive him for what happened.”
Although the Quakes can plug highly regarded Englishman Simon Dawkins into the left-wing spot vacated by Salinas, it’s nonetheless a big loss for San Jose. Salinas’ speed – along with that of fellow San Jose acquisition Marvin Chavez – brought a new dimension to the Quakes’ attack this year, and the 25-year-old had started all six matches in San Jose’s 4-1-1 start.
It was Salinas’ hustling chase-down of Steven Beitashour’s cross at the end line that set up Chris Wondolowski’s equalizing goal on Saturday in Red Bull Arena.
“Personally, that’s the most frustrating thing: We were winning, and I was a part of the winning,” Salinas said. “Selfishly, that’s the part that I’m going to miss the most.”
Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.