Red Bulls part ways with Rafa Marquez

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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.

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119 Responses to Red Bulls part ways with Rafa Marquez

  1. JF says:


  2. Wess says:

    Can we throw a party?

  3. Jack says:

    Terrible decision. Now who will I get to laugh at for being a dysfunctional franchise.

  4. Nato says:

    time to go get Kaka or Lampard

  5. Adam says:

    And there was much rejoicing!

  6. Adam says:

    And there was much rejoicing!

  7. al17 says:

    Liability from day one.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      I’d argue that he was good the first year. Then the head case reasserted itself and by the end he looked like he wanted to get off the field as quickly as he possibly could.

      It’s a shame. He could have been very good for the league. Too made he’s an idiot.

    • AzTeXan says:

      Rafa should seriously be arrested for stealing from NYRBs for that long. Even Lamar Odom thought his behavior was lacking in integrity.

  8. MA1 Rodriguez says:

    Majority don’t mind Marquez leaving, but Juninho isn’t type DP for that market either.

    • Drew says:

      They need to worry about the next DP affecting play on the field, not the gate. Hopefully an improved product and some consistency will help the latter.

  9. Monty Python says:

    And there was much rejoicing…

  10. Aguinaga says:

    Joy to the world, Rafa is gone!!!!

  11. ShucksHucks says:

    I hear Mario Balotelli is looking to make a move.

  12. slowleftarm says:

    Great way to start the day!

  13. Smith says:

    Thank you, Santa & God bless you.

  14. MidWest Ref says:

    I am not trying to be racist or xenophobic (probably a sure sign that I am), but has there been a good acquisition by an MLS team of a Mexican national?

    Marquez and Luis Hernandez stick out in my memory as both being terrible players, poor teammates and just collecting money in the MLS.

    Even as I am typing, I believe that Pardo did well for the Fire and was a good professional. Any other examples, either way?

    • Jacknut says:

      Blanco is the first name that comes to mind. Does Chivas Martinez count? I’m sure there are others.

    • drew11 says:

      Missael Espinoza for SJ is another one. But that was for just one year.

    • Al17 says:

      Blanco immediately comes to mind. I was not in favor of his signing but the man was TOPS for the Fire and gets much love from Fire supporters for Life. My biggest issue with Maarquez is that he didn’t seem like he wanted to play in MLS. I know this sounds stupid but I never got the impression that he cared to play in MLS. It’s not like he couldn’t have played elsewhere for the same amount if not more money. I never heard anything saying he didn’t want to be here.
      Now I know Blanco missed home and returned to Mexico when he could during the Fire season but when he played for the Fire, you NEVER got the impression nor feeling that he didn’t want to be here. He also kicked ass a leader for the Fire and his teammates loved him.
      I know you mentioned Pardo but he’s definitely one of my favorite Fire players. Consummate professional and he loves playing in Chicago.

      Hermosillo played with the Galaxy but I’m coming up blank on his brief career with them.

    • DJ says:

      Omar Bravo for SKC was an excellent addition on and off the field. He and Vermes didn’t end up getting along at the very end (and then SKC got an offer they couldn’t refuse to transfer him), but otherwise he became beloved in his 1 year at SKC.

    • MidWest Ref says:

      I completely forgot about Blanco. He was a good professional for the Fire.. As always, it is easier to remember the negatives than the positives.

    • Bobb says:

      Blanco, Omar Bravo.

      • beachbum says:

        these are the two I can think of, and they were both AWESOME! played with heart and soul, they both won me over, and I couldn’t stand Blanco more than Marquez but Cuaothemoc became a favorite actually. very odd change of feelings for me, but he was great for MLS

  15. Good Jeremy says:

    This is a sad day for soccer. Rafa Marquez was a paragon of effort, determination, sportsmanship, and kindness. While he always lacked natural skill, he made up for it with his work ethic, and was respected by anyone who had ever played or watched with him for his fair play. It will be difficult for NYRB to play without a natural leader to rally around. Stadium banners across North America should be flown at half mast for the rest of the week.

  16. Nato says:

    S should expand to 24teams and stop thus giving us a 2nd NY club, a Minnesota club, a St.Louis club, an Atlanta club and a club somewhere in Florida

    • Soccerhorn says:

      Maybe that Minnesota team could build a stadium in Wisconsin, the way NYRB plays across the river in New Jersey. That way, all five of these new clubs could ALL be eat of the Mississippi. Which would be so good for MLS.

  17. I heart Marquez says:

    why nobody like Rafa?

  18. Iz says:

    guys i wanna do a film about Clint Dempsey. Out of curiosity what current actor do you think can pill off his moody, aggressive athletical down to earth self?

  19. Iz says:

    are any of these DPs a success? On or off the field?

    • Eric says:


      Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, Federico Higuain, Mauro Rosales, just to name a few.

      Plenty of DPs end up being unsuccessful in MLS, but that isn’t going to keep teams from trying to recruit them…

      • Use Common Sense Dude says:

        You said Federico Higuain but neglect Henry. If you had all champions in that line up then I wouldn’t have commented.

  20. Jay says:

    Good Jeremy, I wanna hit of whatever you are smoking.

  21. Wayne Travers Jr. says:

    Yes, Red Bulls fans, there IS a Santa Claus!

  22. Eric says:

    In related news, Steven Lenhart just became the undisputed most-loathed player in MLS. Congratulations, Steven.

    • Sean says:

      Awesome. Just awesome. Lol

    • JRP says:

      Honestly, I disliked Lenhart forty times more than Marquez. Maybe it is because I am in the west. Maybe it is because Marquez was a hell of baller in La Liga. Maybe it is because Lenhart ruined many a good game with a flop. And maybe it is because Lenhart has a way of scoring game winning goals (some fairly, others not). Marquez was never a factor in the MLS. So unless you are a NYRB fan, you didn’t hate the guy. He helped bring down an organization from the inside that most fans want to hate anyway. For that he will go down in history as one of the worst acquisitions ever.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        i believe most of us hated marquez way before he came to mls. it was his role as roja marquez on the mexican national team.

        as a dcu fan, i loved it when he went to nyrb, because it was an opportunity to consolidate the hate. and because it would be a disaster.

        • Bobb says:

          “Consolidate the Hate” would be a good marketing slogan for Rafa moving to a team you already dislike…

  23. PD says:

    Nigel deJong anyone?

  24. Petaluman says:

    How long before Rafa starts trashing MLS in the Mexican press?

  25. Segmaok says:

    so any news of Wondo leaving San Jose?

  26. Nate Dollars says:

    also, ives, credit for writing an honest review of marquez in his time at nyrb: “…a detriment to the team and overpaid failure…”

    i think sportswriters might be tempted to keep it neutral (or ‘professional’), but that’s exactly what he was. truth.

  27. RK says:

    I thought Roberto Donadoni was a bigger joke…

  28. Sean says:

    Thank you, Ives, for calling it like it is. There are some clowns over at MLS and NYRB who are trying to defend this clown – goodbye Marquez. We deserved better.

  29. Segmaok says:

    why does everbody hate this dude?

    • pancholama says:

      He is malignancy.
      Against us in USA-Mexico matches he could always be counted on to throw an elbow, to go in late on Tim Howard studs up, or do some other egregiously offensive, red card worthy hatchet man BS that often went unpunished.
      He was a fizzle for the Red Bull – as others have described, playing without fire, or commitment, spending over 2/3 of his games injured, or suspended for red cards and yellow card accumulation.
      A malignancy. On overpaid cancerous malignancy. End of story. Bye bye Rafa, we’re glad to see you go.

    • beachbum says:

      if you don’t get it you never will

      do you follow soccer with an American voice? obviously not

  30. downintexas says:


    said no one.

  31. Al_OC says:

    He entered the US as one of the most hated player by US fans.
    He leaves the US as the most hated player by NYRF fans.
    Good to know that his reputation hasn’t changed.

    • Sean says:

      For the record, fans really tried to embrace him in the beginning and were optimistic. His play, the beginning, gave us reason to hope. But that all turned south with injuries, attitude, laziness, questionable tackles, unsportsmanlike conduct, not earning his salary, damaging team consistency, and throwing teammates and the league under the bus

      A great day for Red Bull fans.

  32. NickGas says:

    I’m honestly here for the comments and not the story. This guy was a classic tool.

    In terms of flops, Denilson was probably a bigger flop. Maybe Ives should do a story on who we thought the biggest flop in MLS was. That would make for some great comments.

    • DC Josh says:

      I like that idea for biggest MLS flops. Keeping only with big names obviously. Denilson, Marquez, all of DC United’s DP’s. Conversely, he could include the best DP signings. Get on it Ives!

      • Nate Dollars says:

        eesh, remember gallardo? actually, all i can remember is the wondergoal he scored from practically the end line.

        and wasn’t it when dc made emilio a dp that he went straight downhill?

  33. ed - houston says:

    woooooo!! early xmas present to MLS fans….

  34. DC Josh says:

    Note to MLS teams: don’t sign douchy players venomously hated by USMNT fans. He was always a waste.

  35. Al17 says:

    RedBulls deserve Juninho. Loved when he played for Lyon as much as he gave PSG hell but he was along with Sonny Anderson were Lyon’s BEST players during that spell. Those two were probably the only players Lyon would have not allowed to leave before their contracts were up. Essien & Malouda were allowed to leave and Lyon didn’t MISS a Beat had Juninho or Sonny Anderson left, they would have not gone on a title winning streak.

  36. Sabella says:

    Finally. It’s a miracle.

  37. Luis C says:

    Hey Red Bulls when are you going to a Coach?All those moves and they do not have the most
    important piece of the Team,I do not see any future in this Team, again I am the Fool who likes soccer and will continue renewing my season tickets.Its ridiculous not having a coach yet, that tells me whoever comes as a coach is either a fool or a guy that comes for the money who is not
    a real coach.

  38. Shane says:

    “Worried as MLS fan that the Red Bulls are starting to make good moves?” My answer would be “no”. It took them so long to make this move it is laughable. They will continue with big name and money DP signings that wont be worth it, and they will continue bringing in arrogant foreigners that think they know better than their American counterparts. In short, Red Bulls will continue to attract the names that want the glamor and status of New York first, while the hard work, dedication, and teamwork that goes into being successful in MLS will be secondary, perhaps not even that.

    • T-lover says:

      The new management let them go, so all your points make no sense. I guess Olave and Espindola are arrogant foreigners. I know a lot of Galaxy fans forget, but Beckham was not a good DP on the field. I never forget his loan to AC Milian. Henry has scored 14 goals last year, you are just a NYRB hater.

    • ed - houston says:

      i am with you shane, as luis c. mentioned above, NYRB are still making some head scratching moves.

    • Brain Guy says:

      RBNY have made plenty of mistakes, but it is unfair and/or too early to imply that Henry and Cahill have been flops as DPs. Henry scores goals and assists on many others, and Cahill brings just the kind of hard work and determination that you see as being beyond the ability of foreign DPs. In addition, RBNY has begun to fill its needs with experienced MLS guys.

  39. caramelcheese says:

    If you just believe great things can happen!!!!

  40. Scott A says:

    Just look at that face.

  41. NYRB4life says:

    Thank The Lord! Marquez stinked! Worst MLS Signing ever

  42. Eugene says:


  43. Ted Tran says:

    Now that Marquez is with Leon, it’s going to be interesting to see him defend against Herc when they faced each other. Wonder if Herc brings up the trash he talked over twitter while on the pitch, would for interesting match.

  44. MikeG says:

    Marquez was only around for a paycheck. He got it. Now he is gone and his reputation. Low class human being.

  45. SD says:


  46. Toucan says:

    This is the greatest news in the history of Metro news.

  47. felipe says:

    I was cautious when the news started early this week, but now…YYYIIIPPPEEEE

  48. The Imperative Voice says:

    Rafa was disappointingly mediocre, not bad. There have been some like Landin who were literally unfit and ineffective. Nkufo didn’t even show up.

  49. LIUnited says:

    Ives – Please do a story or vote on the worst DP’s or “retired” talent the league has brought in. One of the above comments mentions Donadoni but I thought he was good for the Metros. My vote for worst of all time MLS is In 2000, MetroStars dropped a bombshell by acquiring German international player Lothar Matthäus from Bayern Munich. Matthäus played in only 16 MLS games during the season and his tenure in the U.S. is considered a disappointment.. If I remember correctly Matthaus asked the team to go to Europe to rehab is back but was found on the beach in St. Tropaz.

    The Metros had lots of bad luck. They had Tab Ramos and Claudio Reyna but both of those players spent more time injured then playing.