SAN JOSE, Calif. – Over the weekend, the San Jose Earthquakes watched replays of the encounter between New York Red Bulls midfielder Rafa Marquez and their own Shea Salinas in the team’s 2-2 draw Saturday night.
Salinas, who started San Jose’s first six matches to good effect, suffered a broken left collarbone after Marquez rode him to the ground in the 42nd minute. The Red Bulls DP delivered a kick for good measure as they two players tumbled. Surgery to help repair Salinas's collar bone is being scheduled for later this week, a team spokesman said. He is expected to miss at least a couple of months while recovering.
WATCH: Marquez drags Salinas down
“I understand you want to be physical and stay tight with him, but you can’t just wrap someone up like that, take them to the ground and then, afterwards, kick them in the head,” Quakes right back Steven Beitashour told MLSsoccer.com after training Monday. “That’s not being physical. That’s just being dirty.”
Given recent retroactive punishments doled out by the MLS Disciplinary Committee, there is every reason to believe Marquez's actions will at least come under review. But Quakes General Manager John Doyle said the club didn’t feel the need to put a call into the league office, given that the play received widespread attention during the live broadcast and that the league is already scrutinizing games to a much greater extent than in the past.
“The league has seen it,” Doyle told MLSsoccer.com. “The announcer [Red Bulls color analyst Shep Messing] saw it. I think everybody saw it. No one missed it.”
Quakes coach Frank Yallop might beg to differ. In addition to disappointment at watching Salinas get seriously injured, Yallop was also less than enthralled that referee Ricardo Salazar let play continue and didn’t whistle for a penalty kick. Though San Jose dominated possession in the second half to the point where New York star Thierry Henry was moved say “we didn’t touch the ball” after intermission, the Quakes couldn’t find a go-ahead goal. So a penalty kick on the Marquez-Salinas incident might have led to three full points for San Jose.
“It doesn’t look good,” Yallop told MLSsoccer.com. “The injury makes it seem worse; [Marquez] bundles [Salinas] over for what I feel is a penalty kick. I think that’s what the call should be. . . . The referee kind of had a good view of it, but didn’t feel it warranted one.”
Gordon, Lenhart questionable
Target men Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart, who both missed the New York trip with strained hamstrings, worked out in tandem with Quakes athletic trainer Bruce Morgan and are being listed as questionable for San Jose’s match against Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
The news is not so good on center back Victor Bernardez, who left the Quakes-Red Bulls match on the heels of Salinas, having sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee just 12 seconds after Salinas’ injury.
Bernardez is expected to miss several weeks at a minimum, and one club official compared the injury to Ramiro Corrales’ MCL sprain in 2010. Corrales, the Quakes’ captain, missed just more than two months in that instance, although the timeframe was stretched somewhat because San Jose was playing so well in Corrales’ absence that it was tough find the right spot to reinsert him into the starting XI.
Additionally, striker Sercan Guvenisik missed Monday’s practice due to illness. Center back Ike Opara was held out as a precaution due to a tight hamstring and rookie forward Cesar Diaz Pizarro sat to give his injured groin a rest.
Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.