Mexican Soccer

Former Red Bulls defender Marquez called into Mexico camp

RafaMarquezMexico1 (Teledario)


Victor Manuel Vucetich’s first order of duty as Mexico manager was to select a roster for a mid-week September training camp, and he proved he’s not afraid to bring in the old guard to the side.

Former Barcelona and New York Red Bulls defender Rafael Marquez is included on Vucetich’s 25-man domestic-based roster as the manager continues his preparation for Mexico’s final two World Cup qualifying matches on October 11 vs. Panama and a visit to Costa Rica on October 15. It’s the 34-year-old Club Leon defender’s first time in a Mexico squad since June 2012, when he sat on the bench in two of Mexico’s third round qualifiers.

Marquez has had a very strong Apertura season so far for Leon, starting all ten games this season and leading the best defense in Liga MX, having conceded just six goals. In his career, Marquez has made 111 appearances for El Tri.

In addition to the selection of Marquez, Vucetich has called up Lucas Lobos, an uncapped Argentine attacking midfielder who can play for Mexico after earning his citizenship this summer. Lobos joins Damian Alvarez and Christian “Chaco” Gimenez as one of three Argentine-born players in the training camp squad.

The camp is set to take place from September 22 and 25 in Mexico City, Mexico.


What do you think of this news? Do you see Marquez being called into the squad for the World Cup qualifiers? Do you believe Marquez can still play at a high level internationally?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Hush

    Haha… But in all seriousness, he might be their best defender. Lets see if the two Argentinos & a slow bitter player bring some light to the NT


  • uDaMan

    Well… I think Mexico will qualify with a trip to New Zealand. But man, are they sweating it. The team is probably very talented even by Mexican standards. Some of their players would be starting for (not all) but most nations.

    But this team is just not playing well together. And they’ll have to make no mistakes vs. Panama. Because that could be their last game till 2018 if they screw it up. Seeing Salcido on the list is not going to help. Also I really don’t know why they didn’t switch goalies. Maybe if Mexico doesn’t go through it could help the US’ future seeding chances


  • petedx

    Yikes. Also I read on the mls website they were trying to get Gil to switch over. Wonder how true that is or if it’s just the usual mlssoccer.com trolling for clicks.


    • Jake

      This isn’t their qualifying roster. This is for a midweek camp that presumably is only for domestic players. It doesn’t mean Vela will or won’t be on the October qualifying roster.


  • Chaca

    Marquez is having a pretty good season with Leon. He struggled at first but once he realized he was not playing for an “amateur” league anymore he got down to business and earned a starting spot.


    • Neruda

      A cheap dig at MLS but the truth is rafa wasn’t good enough for MLS. If he was than he’d still be in MLS (he got no interest from any other mls team) or at least would have improved nyrb. He made them worse and he has absolutely nothing to offer tricolor. Well maybe he can teach the younger players how to properly land elbow blows and other violent conduct.


    • OB Rick

      Yeah, the amateur league had a bunch of players on the field in Ohio that beat Mexic 2-0. Mexico sucks ass.


    • Elber Galarga

      Funny, how Rafa always refers to MLS as armature, especially in interviews. Like the league is beneath. What an ass.


    • jason

      that’s laughable. he was good in his prime but now he’s nothing but baggage. in mls he was dirt poor in defending. all around despicable human being.


  • Jacknut

    Meh, he’s probably brought in to make up the numbers and provide some veteran leadership. Mexico’s defense hasn’t been the problem.


    • David M

      I think it has. While they may not have conceded many goals, the defense has often looked shaky. For example, I remember the scoreless tie against Jamaica at Azteca — Jamaica had tons of great chances, they were just ripping mexican defense apart.


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  • Lost in Space

    To bad he wasn’t in Columbus so that the US fans could have shown their appreciation to such a classy player. I’m sure that Cobi & Timmy haven’t forgotten his trademark kicks, elbows, etc….
    Would love to see JJ return the favor.


  • Josh D

    It’s fun to laugh, and I did so yesterday when this news broke. However, the guy is a Mexico legend and former captain who’s only 34. Say what you will about his NYRB vacation, but he always steps up for his country. With a team in so much upheaval, it’s good to bring in someone who’s calm and has been through qualification before. He’ll calm down all the youth they have.

    Plus, many on here are still calling for Boca to make a return and are holding out for Gooch, too. Just a couple months back, people said DeMerit has a chance when he got back.

    Colombia has Yepes who I think is 38. AC played Maldini until he was 40 (if my memory serves correctly). Defensive players have a long career if their heart is in it. Seems like Marquez has found his again in Mexico.


    • blokhin

      agreed. The guy knows what he’s doing and in time of panic he can provide some stability and keep nervous teammates in line. But I’m hoping he blows a fuse and gets red carded for karate kicking Blas Perez


    • Dave80

      I think this is a pretty good take on it. The been-here-before factor is probably a strong point. Perhaps he changes the difficulty for the offense in practice, either to build their confidence or to push their talent depending on your belief in Marquez’s talent at this point.

      But it is tasty irony, isn’t it?


  • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache

    I am more than happy to welcome Rafa back to the field against our boys. His inclusion makes it that much more fun to gloat when they fail. As long as he doesn’t injure anyone.

    So Argentina is Mexico’s Germany?


  • dikranovich

    god, wouldn’t it be something if mexico lost to panama, then beat costa rica, and we put a hurting on panama, down in panama, and mexico still picked up the 4th spot and beat new Zealand and qualified for the world cup.

    id rather have the chance to grab Mexican scalp at the world cup, rather than them not being there at all, plus it would be a gracious move by the USA and it would leave Mexico in our back pocket for a long time to come.


    • William the Terror

      So, are you talking about match-fixing to get this accomplished? Because that’s what it sounds like. I mean, the only way that Mexico would ever be “in our back pocket” is if this were pre-arranged between us. Even then, I doubt that there would much in the way of longstanding gratitude.


      • dikranovich

        im sorry William, but what are you talking about? match fixing, come again??? what I said was I want to beat mexico in a world cup, that’s what I said. we have already got mexico at arms length, by virtue of a 2002 victory. William, we are talking psychology here, not money laundering.


      • Andrew

        The difference between beating Panama and not beating them wouldn’t necessarily come down to match-fixing. We’re already qualified. Our A team would have a decent chance of winning in Panama; our B team’s chances aren’t nearly as good.


  • Matt

    If they’re bringing back old folks, they’d be better off bringing Jared Borgetti back from retirement. They could use some presence in the box!


  • Andrew

    I actually think this move makes some sense. We’ve seen Mexico self-destruct by getting frustrated/angry, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen Mexico capitulate like they did after the first goal in Columbus. I suppose ardido is less embarrassing than total capitulation.


  • Birgit Calhoun

    I remember Rafa Marquez for the worst foul I can remember. He defended for the Red Bulls and he broke a number of the Earthquakes’ Shea Salinas’ bones which put him out of commission for almost the whole season.. Rafa Marquez may be a good defender, but he is somewhat of a liability.


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