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Red Bulls Notes: Marquez out two more weeks; Pearce, Meara still hurt and more

Marquez (Getty Images)


New York Red Bulls Designated Player Rafa Marquez will once again be designated to the injured list.

Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe said a scan of his calf revealed another injury, forcing the former Mexican captain out of the team’s next several games.

“I think it’s around two weeks he’s out,” Backe said. “I’m not quite sure exactly what the scan said, but when I talked to the trainers they said around two weeks.”

The injury is yet another setback for Marquez who will now officially miss his 13th game of the season when New York takes on the Philadelphia Union at Red Bull Arena for this Saturday’s matinee. 

The Mexican midfielder/defender has played in eight of a possible 20 games this season due to injuries and suspensions. In fact, of a possible 68 matches throughout his tenure with New York, he has appeared in just 41 (12 out of 14 in 2010, 21 of 34 in 2011).

Marquez re-aggravated his calf within the first 20 minutes of play against the Seattle Sounders this past Sunday while struggling to cover former international foe Eddie Johnson. He jogged off the pitch, in no visible pain, making a dash to the tunnel while failing to acknowledge either his coach or teammates on the sideline.

He did not train with the team on Friday.

"It’s difficult to say why you pick up (the same injury)," Backe said. "I’m not quite sure why. I have no answer for that."


Also ruled out for the Union match are Ryan Meara, who continues to fight an ongoing hip injury; defender Heath Pearce, who was replaced for the MLS All-Star Game by San Jose's Justin Morrow because of a hamstring issue; and Jan Gunnar Solli, who is also on the mend with a hamstring injury of his own. 

Meara's injury means that newcomer Bill Gaudette will earn his third straight start for the Red Bulls in his first week with the team after being acquired from Los Angeles.

Both Markus Holgersson and Wilman Conde, who have recently returned from injury issues of their own, should be available as well. It was feared Conde may have re-aggrevated his groin injury after being taken out against Chicago on Wednesday, but appears to be ready to enter the fray this Saturday.


Veteran defensive midfielder Teemu Tainio continued training with the team. Tainio, who was once feared to have suffered a career-ending ligament tear in his knee, is working toward making his first appearance with the club since March 31. 

"There wasn’t any guarantee that my knee wasgoing to be good," Tainio said. "Maybe I started to practice too early. I have afeeling it wasn’t really healing up yet so it set me backwards. But I’mhoping to be in action very soon."

Though Tainio feels well enough to perhaps garner a start next week against Montreal, Backe has eyes on a tentative return for the Red Bulls' friendly against Tottenham on July 31.


  1. if you understand football you will understand that you need some kind of quality at every position. You’re not going to have a good team if you spend 78% of your budget on just two players. It’s much easier to market a good team than to just market a couple well known names.

    and the salary cap has not been critical to the leagues survival. You don’t need it. The average MLS player already has his market value on the international football market and it wouldn’t be much more than they are making now. And in some cases it would be less.

  2. This makes very little sense. The salary cap has been a critical element for this league surviving as a business this long and continuing to survive. The point of the DP is to get a highly marketable player that can be much more expensive than the cap. That’s why it was originally called the Beckham rule. If you take away the cap, you run the risk of MLS dying the same death as the old NASL. If you spread that money around to more players, you will get a higher quality very average team, with no big marketable names.

  3. Need to sell Rafa. I agree he’s surplus, which is really the most important point — there are guys playing both his central defender and defensive midfielder roles as well as he does. On top of which he’s a big salary-cap hit, takes up a DP slot and he’s missing way too many games. He was useless last year as well. I would much rather they sell him off to Atlas and pick up DaMarcus Beasley at left wing (as a DP), if that could be done.

  4. Not every market/owner has 13 million to spend, so the “horrible structure” is called parity and has kept the league from folding like NASL.

    MLS hardly has a “poor product”. The idea that you have to be watching the very best in the world to be entertained is nonsense. Look at college basketball.

    Here is an interesting article about MLS payrolls

  5. MLS has a horrible structure when it comes to player rosters.

    the salary cap and this DP nonsense = poor product on the field.

    MLS is fine with Red Bulls spending 13 million on wages this year. But they are only fine with it if they give 78% of that 13 million to just two players: Henry and Marquez.

    Imagine how good a team Red Bulls would be if they were allowed to take that 13 million and spread it around the roster. Hell, you could take 6 million and if u were allowed to spend it without these stupid restrictions you could have a much better roster.

  6. One of the glaring issues with long-in-the-tooth DPs is that they’ve reached an age where players simply tend to be more injury-prone. I’m no fan of Marquez, but I almost–almost!–feel bad for the guy. That said, I don’t see why NYRB doesn’t just release him.

  7. I for one am glad he is not playing. The team are a lot better when he is not there. I think he is probably one of the worst acquisitions Red Bulls and MLS made, and I think they just don’t know what to do with him.

  8. Marquez was getting completely abused by EJ last weekend. He didn’t look hurt at all as he jogged right off the pitch and down to the locker room. Sadly for Seattle, NY’s defense was much improved after he left.

  9. I dislike Rafa as much as anyone on here, but without inviting the usual round of Marquez-bashing, I’m wondering why the Red Bulls don’t move on? Does his contract have guarantees that make it too onerous to release him? I know that the coach and GM have repeatedly said that when he’s on the field he provides some vision and calmness on the ball that the team lacks without him. But that means nothing if he can’t get onto the field, whether it be because of injury or suspension. I honestly don’t think that Marquez at this stage is a better player than DeGuzman, who was one of the other huge DP failures in the league! I know we rehash this over and over on these walls, but I’m astounded that management has not been able to move on from him – can you imagine what other players they could get to come to NY at his salary level?


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