Reports: Marquez leaving RBNY to join Leon

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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.

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98 Responses to Reports: Marquez leaving RBNY to join Leon

  1. Gnarls says:

    File this under “Good riddance,” sub file “Long time coming.”

    • chris_thebassplayer says:

      Yeah, I was surprised they didn’t dump him prior to last season, the dude was toxic and epitomized the term matador D. An 8 year old could see that he gave no effort at all…guess that’s why the previous regime imploded…mind numbing decision making.

      • evan says:

        yeah still can’t believe he lasted 2+ years, he made RedBull look like foools… it seems they are finally wising up now? if they switch Marquez for Juninho they would be following Galaxy’s lead, with Juninho in the Beckham role and Henry & Cahill about as good as Kean & Donovan… but if Galaxy get Kaka theyre still better…

        • Mac says:

          If they can get old Juninho for a non-DP contract, they can use Rafa’s DP slot on another addition that could put them ahead of LA, even with Kaka.

  2. MMV says:

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. On second thought…………………………..

  3. A wise man once says:

    Nooooo! Now NY might actually be good.

  4. Chris says:

    Marquez was a disappointment (often injured, the cards) but didn’t deserve the abuse some fans heaped on him. Good luck in Leon, Rafa!

    • Iggy says:

      Did Henry’s agent force you to write this? He played well in the latter part of the year, until his red card in the most important game of the year. The abuse he got last year he deserved every bit of.

      I hope the report is true, but wont miss him, no matter how well he does at Leon.

    • chris says:

      Marquez deserved everything he got and more

    • patrick says:

      you mean, the abuse for giving up on his team, playing selfishly, putting his team in bad positions, bad mouthing his teammates and coaches, going on month long stints to mexico for “rehab, and more? That wasn’t deserved?

  5. DCfan says:

    There is a Santa Claus!! I believe!!

  6. Mark says:

    Sweet baby Jeebus, that’s welcome news. Marquez flashed his talent on occasion, with a few killer passes per game when he did play. However, his lackadaisical play and the frequent boneheaded mistakes seemed to always be on display to temper any enthusiasm regarding his talent.

    Clearly a good move to for all parties to get a fresh start if he does make the move.

    Where does Marquez stand in the MLS pantheon of DP Busts? He had some moments, but given his salary he’s got to be up there…

  7. Manny says:

    Leon fails to make La Liguilla, book it. This guy is a cancer still living in the Barca glory days. He is toxic to young talent and thinks that his pedigree and experience means he doesn’t have to actually run during matches.

    • Matty V. says:

      Club Leon was promoted. They will be in Liga MX but we’ll see if they last even with a douche like Rafa.

      • Moe says:

        club leon was in the 1st division this year and did so well, that they will be in copa libertadores next year.

      • krazymunky says:

        not sure if you read wrong or im reading wrong. but Liguilla is the playoffs to the Apertura Championship.

    • fortunate only says:

      Leon was voted the best team of the season in LigaMX over Toluca and Tijuana by its fellow players and coaches.

      They may not make the Liguilla next season but its doubtful they will be relegated since there are quite a few teams ahead of them in the “porcentual”, which is what determines relegation.

  8. Vic says:

    Great news for Red Bull. Bad news for Leon.

  9. Scott A says:

    Hanukkah Harry comes through again

  10. irishapple21 says:

    Please, oh, please, let it be true! Rafa Marquez has been the biggest drag on RBNY for the past three years. If we could get rid of him, our team would be ten times better.

  11. LeonFan says:


  12. David St. Hubbins says:

    he is terrible

    what a colossal waste of money

  13. Charles says:

    Everyone is getting better, while Seattle is not…..even NY !?!?!

    • Bobb says:

      Seattle needs to get rid of… all three of their DPs.
      Tiffert was just mediocre.
      Montero disappears in the playoffs.
      Rosales is always injured and is never there when they need him.

      Not only that, but the three of them COMBINED don’t provide the leadership of Omar Gonzalez, forget about being equal to any of the Galaxy’s DPs….

  14. Chris says:


  15. NiceBull says:

    Marquez had so much potential based on his previous performance in his career, but he truly never worked out or came anywhere close to how he used to play. He probably is just at that point in his career where he just will never be as good as he used to be, and the Red Bulls don’t need his inconsistency. Would be a very good thing to rid his contract.

  16. QuakerOtis says:

    Good riddance.

    I can see how NYRB might want to replace him with a DP sooner rather than later, but as a fan of the league, I hope the Energy Drinks’ front office takes their time, goes after the right guy as opposed to whomever they think they can get.

    Imho, Juninho or someone like him would be good, but nothing less. Kaka would be great, but I don’t see it happening for a few years, if at all. Any other rumors out there?

  17. Ben says:

    finally. it is not a fond farewell.

  18. Nick says:

    Thank you Kwanzaa Klaas.

  19. Paul says:

    Christmas has indeed come early..good luck in copa liberatores next year, if you couldn’t hack it here wait till u face those south american teams

  20. Nate Dolllars says:


    – dcu fan

  21. Chaz says:

    This isn’t the April Fools edition is it? This is the best present we could get this Holiday season!

  22. Pete says:

    Just that you guys understand if we get Juninhio he will no take DP , and if Rafa departure is to be true ( ooh happy day ohhh happy day) Kaka will be the sole target for replacment .

  23. Joamiq says:

    can’t happen quickly enough

  24. slowleftarm says:

    A great day for all NYRB supporters. Just getting rid of this clown is reason enough to celebrate but the fact his departure opens up a DP spot for someone who (hopefully) will actually contribute is even better. So far so good this offseason. Looking forward to March!

  25. NYSoxfan says:

    Hasta la vista, Rafa!…

  26. Good Jeremy says:

    Why would he go to Leon? There aren’t even Americans to headbutt there.

    • sandtrout says:

      I’ve been to Leon, and there’s a ton of shoe factories and leather tanneries there that always need workers. Back up plan.

  27. Meromasta says:

    Crossing my fingers for it to become true.

  28. Frank says:

    Rafa had too much class for MLS and his possession style is a better fit for La Liga and Liga MX. Good Riddance to MLS. Let this be a warning to finesse type La Liga players that MLS is still the ancient hoof the ball up and physical league The Epl used to be. Huge gain for Leon

    • slowleftarm says:

      Can’t tell if this a joke

    • Jake says:

      Or… he just sucked and was a petulant loser. All this BS about styles just doesn’t cut it in this instance. Sure there are differences, but Marquez just flat out didn’t play well enough or stay healthy enough consistently.

    • chris_thebassplayer says:


    • Neruda says:

      I sure hope this is in jest. I saw him play on tv and one time in person against RSL and his passes and crosses were awful. He made no impact at all. It’s hard to imagine he was ever good enough to play for Barca.

    • ForzaDomi says:

      “Let this be a warning to finesse type La Liga players”… like Thierry Henry?

      Sure, you can argue that Henry is more EPL than La Liga, but I think Rafa lacks the professionalism to contribute to MLS. But he was captain at – doesn’t matter. New team = new challenge. He couldn’t hack it here, other than being a hack.

    • fortunate only says:

      I don’t know about too much class but his lack of pace was always going to play against him.

      What’s funny is there are a ton on people here who sling crap at him for his “lack of effort” yet don’t say a word when Henry walks around the field. It’s quite obvious really, these guys aren’t happy with the lack of quick thinking of their teammates. Especially a guy like Rafa, who thrives on reading the game well and putting his teammates in good positions.

  29. Wess says:

    So is Liga Mx the MLS retirment league? lolol

  30. MarcoGuadalajara says:

    Poor mls… Your stars are running away what are you going to do now?! jajaj his coming to a more competitive league and team now so he will raise his level again

  31. Frank says:

    Rafa was a huge disappontment in MLS and it is all his fault. No excuses. He should have researched the league and emphasis on physicality and speed and lack of technical ability throughout. MLS was a bad fit for him just like it was for Herc Gomez. He will be going to a superior and more technical league. In Hindsight he should have gone back to Mexico when he left Barca.

    • T-lover says:

      Don’t blame MLS, for him not doing shit. Liga MX is a good, league but it is far from superior. It’s a nice league that with in 5 years, MLS will pass.

      • Rob says:

        MLS ain’t going anywhere as long as it continues to ape the EPL. They teams should follow the RSL examplr and bring in younger players from third world countries that can contribute

  32. felipe says:

    like many big name stars in NY, rafa certainly did not work out – I am, however, reserving cartwheels and somersaults until it is OFFICIAL

  33. MarcoGuadalajara says:

    True very diff styles from la liga to mls .. it maybe too late but there’s still a chance for him to improve in Leon because they are playing the best futbol in mexico..

    • T-lover says:

      Rafa looked slow and out of place, I attended a lot of NYRB games, and he was shit. So please don’t give me your BS about Liga MX, in 5 years MLS will leap over it.

      • MarcoGuadalajara says:

        Jajaja mls is growing yes but little by little, calm down its still a baby. Liga mx has history and the biggest teams in concacaf who have dominated in the CCL.. liga mx is growing too so it will always be superior.

        • T-lover says:

          LIGA MX has been around for along time, which is not good for Liga MX, because MLS is competing with them now. Liga MX will always stay the same, they will never attract top European players, as long Mexico is a third world country. Also be careful about CCL results considering, MLS teams are in their preseason and Liga MX teams, in its mid-season. Also just be realistic, the US is a media market, in time MLS WILL make more then Liga MX in TV revenue, Liga MX will always be what it is.

          • Moe says:

            Liga MX gets higher ratings in the US than the MLS, why would a network pay more for less? Liga MX also has much higher salaries than the MLS.
            Honestly what the hell are you talking about?
            For the foreseeable future Liga MX should be as worried about the MLS, as the MLS should be about the NASL.

            • T-lover says:

              This is what I’m talking about Moe-dick, when you look at the continue growth of MLS, you see similarities between NHL and MLS. The NHL now a 4 billion company, has had these growth pains as well. NHL struggled to get TV ratings,with steady growth the league have grown. Also NHL is more of Regional Sport, similar to MLS. What you need to watch is Regional TV ratings, not national. Also MLS TV ratings, was up this year.MLS Cup 2012 on Spanish-language TeleFutura delivered 485,000 viewers.An increase of 58 percent over the 2011 final and an increase of 109 percent over the 2010 final. However ESPN ratings did have a decline. However you still see steady growth. Still a lot of work needs to be done, but growth you see. By looking at steady growth and the rise of these Regional markets, one can project MLS TV revenue going up. Liga MX should be worried because again, MLS has now started to compete with Liga MX on the pitch, and I won’t be surprise to see it happen next year in the CCL. Also NASL is a second div. so MLS wouldn’t be worried about it anyway, don’t really see your point. Also by looking at the US as a whole, and knowing Liga MX only has certain limits, because it being a small Media market, is using basic logic. While also knowing the US is a huge media market, you can see my point.

  34. UffyEdo says:

    I don’t want to be an old man anymore
    It’s been a year or two since I was out on the floor
    Shakin’ booty, makin’ sweet love all the night
    It’s time I got back to the good life

    It’s time I got back, it’s time I got back
    And I don’t even know how I got off the track
    I want to go back, yeah!

  35. TheTruth says:

    its quite simple folks, rafa, just like everyone in the world, takes the mls as a joke. he didn’t put any effort into it and was just there for the money.

    the mls got played.

    rafa stays winning.

    • T-lover says:

      Another troll.

      • chosun says:

        T-lover, easy on the “troll” nonsense…that shit’s tired. Just because someone has an opposing point of view, doesn’t make them a troll.

        I disagree that everyone takes MLS as a joke, but I do believe that Rafa saw it that way. If he came here just for the paycheck, then he did win out (unfortuantely). Also, I highly doubt he ever cared what the US fans think of him. I think we can watch Mex vs US games enough to realize that he doesn’t care what US fans think.

        Honestly, regardless of whether or not he’s useless as a soccer player, he was mostly useless for the Red Bulls, and I’m glad for both parties that he’s moving on. I have never liked him, and was really disappointed when they pulled him over, but hoped he would try to prove himself. I think I was clearly wrong. Actually, I’m even willing to give him the benefit of the doubt; that he came here trying to help RB do well. It could be that he found the Management to be a joke, rather than the MLS as a whole.

    • JRP says:

      If you believe this it says a lot about the character of Rafa. Sad really.

      • Rob says:

        Nah, Rafa is no different than a lot of professional US athletes, just in it for the paycheck. He’s no saint but he’s not any different than most.

    • Chris says:

      Wow, I’d love to know the name(s) of the drug(s) you’re on, as I wish to take a vacation from reality from time to time myself.

    • JC says:

      Marquez didn’t win. He gained a bad rep. it’s not something to be proud of.

  36. Jake says:

    As a DC United fan, I’m really sad to see him go because NY might actually get something right and become a better team. As an MLS fan and a soccer fan, good riddance and its about damn time!

  37. Adam M. says:

    This whole episode is sad. Sad for Red Bulls, who spent a fortune on a player with limited remaining skills and little motor and then played him out of position most of the time. Sad for the fans, who had to put up with his uneven, lackadaisical play and bad pitch attitude only to be seduced with a flash of occasional brilliance. Sad for what could have been had Red Bulls invested in someone else, someone different. In a way, sad for Marquez, who to his credit took a chance on a still growing league and never fit in. And that’s about all the time we have for being sad. Now we can all be happy that it is over and hopeful that the next guy works out.

  38. Biff says:

    Yes! Please let this be true!

    Largate, pinche cabron!

  39. Billy says:

    Sweet! First Sebastien Le Toux, now Rafa Marquez. All we need now is a article about Roy Miller leaving!

  40. Sabella says:

    Hallelujah. Turn the page.

    I would rather see RBNY buy three young up and coming Americans than get Juninho. I admit Kaka is intriguing.

  41. Kelly says:

    Best news I’ve heard all week.

    As Billy hinted above, hopefully Rafa will take Miller with him.

  42. Bobb says:

    Marquez in that pic: “Come at me, bro!”

  43. Beto says:

    Haha he scored just once! I remember that sick bender at TFC didnt realize that was the only one. Peace out

  44. OBRick says:

    He is a punk. Never forgave him for what he did to Cobbi at the 2002 WC.

  45. steve says:

    marquez was an absolute disgrace. good by and good riddance

  46. caramelcheese says:

    Not going to miss Marquez, this is the perfect case for addition by subtraction. Now all they have to do is offload Miller and avoid Juninho and it’ll be an early Christmas!

  47. Ted Tran says:

    As much as I think Ives wants to believe this is true, I doubt it happens.

    Rafa has already stated that he doesn’t plan on returning to Mexico in interview with Mediotiempo, maybe a loan is possible but a two year deal? Living in Guadalajara, Monaco, Barcelona, and then New York, I can see why he wouldn’t want to go back; not even Aguirre lived in Mexico when he managed Mexico.

    I guess he must be really desperate to go to the World Cup, and Leon being own by the richest man in the world does help make this move a little possible.

    • patrick says:

      this isn’t Ives pulling something out of thin air, there are multiple reports from legitimate sources, including ESPN deportes. Neither he nor the red bulls have been happy with the current situation, and so it makes perfect sense to cut ties and go your separate ways. When you then consider new management, and all of the roster turnover, this shouldnt come as a surprise to anyone.

      • Ted Tran says:

        Now that you say ESPN Deportes I know its not going to happen, those guys are making things up as they go.

  48. ed - houston says:

    lol at all the comment….. SO LONG SCREWY !!!