Photo by ISIphotos.com
Christmas may have come early for the New York Red Bulls.
According to multiple reports, Rafa Marquez is set to leave the Red Bulls and join Mexican club Leon after a two-and-a-half-year stay that was marred by injuries and controversy. One report claims that Marquez is in the process of terminating his current deal with the Red Bulls, which has one more year on it, so as to sign a two-year contract with Leon as a free agent.
Marquez joined the Red Bulls in August 2010 and he played in 44 regular season games for the MLS club, scoring one goal and assisting on nine others. This past campaign, Marquez was limited to just 15 regular season appearances.
If Marquez does return to Mexican soccer by joining Leon, his departure would open up a Designated Player slot for the Red Bulls, who are said to be in discussions with Brazilian midfielder Juninho Pernambucano and have been linked to Brazilian star Kaka.
A Red Bulls spokesperson declined comment when asked about the reports.
If the Red Bulls succeed in unloading Marquez it would mark a major coup for a team already carrying two Designated Players and a team that has been largely disappointed by Marquez’s contributions and behavior since joining the team. Unloading his salary would not only help the team sign another star player, but would rid the team of a player who has been injury prone and had a penchant for making stupid mistakes, such as earning red cards in the team’s playoff-deciding matches in each of the past two seasons.
What do you think of Marquez’s potential departure? How do you look back on his time with the Red Bulls? Who should the Red Bulls chase with their third DP spot if Marquez indeed leaves?
Share your thoughts below.