MLS- New York Red Bulls

Marquez shifts gears for coming Mexican National matches

Rafa marquez getty images


A thirty-yard, outside-of-the-foot curler that beat Mexican keeper Memo Ochoa upper 90 was followed by a howling celebration and a playful smile as teammates lauded the strike with a chorus of ooh’s and ahh’s.  His movement was spry, his passes precise. Indeed, for the first time in weeks, Rafa Marquez looked to be having fun on a soccer pitch.

The former Mexican captain was reunited with his National teammates who gathered in the shadow of MetLife Stadium in preparation for Sunday’s friendly against Wales. Marquez, who hasn’t addressed the American media since his suspension for the injury of San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Shea Salinas, seemed genuinely excited about the encounter.

“It’s good.  There are a lot of quality players, players that have earned their position based on their showing the past few games,” Marquez said of his National side. ”Others that we already know are in Europe and haven’t seen much action, but here with the National team have shown well. It’s a complete team.”

A new World Cup cycle that could be his last with the National team; a fact he has addressed on several occasions leading up to this point.  For Marquez, each opportunity is a chance to solidify his spot for Brazil 2014.  “There is always quality on the team,” he said.  “Today, there are players that are doing great things, so the competition is tougher.

“It’s a bit more serious, though it is always serious.  Knowing that there are two important World Cup Qualifiers that we have to focus on, even though we have these friendlies coming, it’s to prepare for those matches. “

Mexico has a busy schedule over the next few weeks, including encounters against Wales, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Brazil in preparation for their first pair of qualifiers against Guyana and El Salvador.

Wales will be the team’s first true test, though they will be missing a handful of stars – most notably, Tottenham star Gareth Bale.  “Maybe (Wales is) stronger than the others,” Marquez said comparing this weekend’s opponent to their qualifying challengers.  “It's also a friendly and preparation for us. We need to take it that way.

“They are a strong team with strong forwards that can be difficult for us.”

One concern for Marquez may be his fitness.  He has featured in only six of thirteen matches for the New York Red Bulls all season, missing time for suspensions and injury issues. To his credit, he did go the distance against Chivas USA in a disappointing 1-1 draw at Red Bull Arena; an experience he feels is a good test of his health for the coming matches.

“I played 90 minutes last Wednesday and I felt well physically,” Marquez said. 

Apart from that, he kept his distance from addressing issues related to his club team.  When asked if the time off after his suspension may have perhaps soothed situations and allowed things to calm, he simply replied, “I am always calm.”

Clearly, Marquez is leaving his club issues aside for a few weeks.  For now, his focus is on World Cup Qualifiers.

Mexico takes on Wales on Sunday at 3pm at MetLife Stadium.

  • Old School

    “Indeed, for the first time in weeks, Rafa Marquez looked to be having fun on a soccer pitch.”

    He’s welcome to find fun elsewhere.

    Too bad he can’t play against Ochoa every week for fantastic goals. That guy is the most overrated GK in the world.


  • Rick

    I was just going to write the same comment. I don’t like him and have never forgiven him for what he did to Cobi.


  • biff

    Here is a video of the vicious head-butt to Cobi Jones. Marquez seems proud of the dirty play, smirks as he walks off the field after his red card. The attack starts around 2:15


  • kpugs

    It’s disappointing that anyone, anywhere outside of Mexico would devote an entire article to this piece of garbage.

    His club pays him his ridiculous millions of dollars but we all know he doesn’t care about that because he proves it again and again during every single match.

    Like I said, he is the personification of garbage. But yet somehow I still have to read this drivel about him. And that’s not a dig at Dave who is stellar at his job. It’s a dig at Marquez because he’s such a b-hole that anything written about him is drivel.


  • El Principio

    Thanks for the link – Marquez is such a dirtbag but it’s always great to re-live our Mexican triumphs.

    I was at Red Bull arena last Wednesday and wanted to jump over the stands and strangle Marquez. He’s lazy, disinterested and adores playing fluff chips that have little/no purpose except to relieve any amount of pressure he might be facing.

    His disdain is appalling.

    I’m not sure how Mexicans feel about him but I thank God that he’s not American.


  • marden08

    i love watching him play when he is a good boy. Too much of the time he is a thug.


  • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original

    Never thought I would dislike a player as I can’t stand this d-bag.
    I can’t spend any more time on this – it’s a wast of time.


  • fortunate only

    NY fans need not fret about Marquez, he is easily more disliked in Mexico than he is the US.

    It’s players like Marquez that give more credence to those who claim MLS is a retirement league. He doesn’t play with the same intensity for NY as he does when he dons the Mexico jersey. Don’t get me wrong, he still makes the same mistakes for the national team but they’re much more reduced and you can tell the guy actually gives a damn when he plays for his country.

    It seems like the RB front office gives him too much respect sometimes and even though Dax is a below average player, his commitment to the team should be rewarded by benching Marquez for a few games.


  • Mitch


    You would think this guy is trying to help people with health care or something.


  • dan

    With his previous history with the Mexican NT, what did you guys expect? Nothing has changed about him. Teams keep him around because he has quality but only shows it when he wants to.


  • Mastercheech

    I agree with what you wrote, except that Dax is below average. At first I didn’t like him at all. But whit the past 5/6 games he has won me over. He easily out plays Marquez.


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