MLS- New York Red Bulls

Marquez's status in doubt for East semifinal second leg

Photo by ISIphotos.com

What first appeared to be a fictional story of an injury concocted to cover-up a dust-up between a player and coach is looking more and more like a real injury and real problem for the New York Red Bulls.

Red Bulls defender Rafa Marquez is nursing a calf injury and is questionable forĀ the Red Bulls’ second leg against D.C. United in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Wednesday, and will likely be a game-time decision.

Marquez suffered his latest calf injury in the waning moments of the first half of Saturday’s 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium.

The timing of Marquez’s departure from Saturday’s match looked suspicious because it came right after a visible argument between Marquez and Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe at the end of the first half, but Backe has insisted the injury was what upset Marquez.

If Marquez does not play, Heath Pearce could slide over to centerback and Roy Miller or Wilman Conde can play out on the left side of the defense. Other, but less likely, options include starting Digao or Stephen Keel next to Markus Holgersson.

What do you think of Marquez possibly missing Wednesday’s game? Can the Red Bulls defense play well and shutout United without him? Who should fill in for him if he doesn’t play?

Share your thoughts below.

  • TomG

    Poor decision for Soler to bring him onboard in the first place and even more ridiculous to keep him for another year after he destroyed the team last season. I’ve got to think he played a major role in costing Soler his job. Marquez is just a world-class jackass.


  • Iggy

    I’d hate to know how hurt Rafa would be if he ran around like Dax or Lade! In all seriousness, he has played well in his most recent return, and this is a loss.

    I’d favor Conde over Miller on the left and HP in the middle, but that all depends on how Conde looks. No way Keel plays.


  • slowleftarm

    It could still be a fake injury.

    If Pearce has to fill-in, a full-back pairing of Miller and Lade is pretty scary.


  • Rabid RBNY

    Feels like less of an issue with all of the transportation issues for people to
    get to the game.


  • Sabella

    To me, Rafa missing the game is the best thing that can happen to the Red Bulls. I don’t need to elaborate on why. If you’ve followed this team this year, you know why. The bigger story is whether Cooper will start. Le Toux has done nothing this year. Copper has 18 goals. After the blatant criticism Kenny has received from both Backe and Henry, he has shown that he is a consummate professional by being polite and receptive to their comments. No doubt Cooper has weaknesses in his game. He isn’t going to dazzle us with his skill but the man can certainly position himself to get scoring chances. Henry and Cooper should start upfront. Dax McCarty needs to play in the center paired with Cahill. Lindpere on the left and if Backe wants LeToux on the pitch, play him on right wing. But I’d prefer Lade on the right wing as he can help with his pace (and because he was a liability at fullback)


    • fortunate only

      Marquez has been one of the best RB players since his return from injury so I don’t know what you’re talking about. The reason RB is in such position is not because of Marquez, it’s because the center mid is weak. They don’t create and don’t link up with the forwards.

      I’ll take Thierry Henry’s word on Rafa’s importance to the team over some overzealous fan who is still sore about Marquez calling out Ream last year.


  • Rabid RBNY

    ESPN has this up On their ticker like it is epic news. Their selective reporting is so frustrating. Wondo should be dominating ESPN MLS coverage.


  • Tim F.

    If Marquez is unavailable (and since Barklage is also unavailable), then joining Holgersson, Pearce, and Lade should be Conde. Miller is not dependable in playoff-like situations — he has contributed to the two prior season ousters — and Solli has proven to be a liability in the back as well. Keel should be an option off the bench. The other defenders have seen so little action that it would do them a dis-service to play them at this point unless no other options are left.

    Defenders, a number 10 and athleticism / speed in general are New York’s off season priorities in my book.


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