Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By IVES GALARCEP
The New York Red Bulls have parted ways with the player who just might go down as one of the worst signings in MLS history.
The Red Bulls have released Mexican star Rafa Marquez, reaching a mutual agreement with the former Barcelona standout, who is expected to join Mexican side Club Leon.
“This decision has been made in the best interests of both parties concerned,” said Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh. “Rafa has accomplished a great deal during his career and is a top quality player. We want to thank him for his service to the Red Bulls and wish him the best of luck in the next stage of his career.”
The news will come as a welcome relief to Red Bulls fans who have watched Marquez be a detriment to the team and overpaid failure for the better part of his two and a half seasons with the Red Bulls. When he wasn’t missing matches due to injuries, Marquez was making silly mistakes such as being red carded in the final playoff match of the season in both 2011 and 2012. He played in just 50 MLS matches, including regular season and playoffs, over the course of two and a half seasons.
With Marquez’s departure, the Red Bulls suddenly have an available Designated Player slot the team could wind up using to sign an attacking midfielder, the team’s most glaring need. The club has been linked to Brazilian standout Juninho Pernambucano, but it is unclear whether he would definitely join the Red Bulls as a DP.
The Red Bulls aren’t likely to miss Marquez too much on the field, not with Dax McCarty a natural central midfield option and Jamison Olave acquired earlier this month as a top centerback to build the defense around.
With Marquez gone, the Red Bulls can now turn their attention to hiring a head coach. With the 2013 MLS Draft, and Janauary transfer window looming, a coach is expected to be hired at some point this month, most likely before Christmas.
What do you think of this news? Overjoyed as a Red Bulls fan? Worried as an MLS fan now that it looks like the Red Bulls are starting to make good moves?
Share your thoughts below.