Posted on December 13, 2012
By Michael Lewis
Former New York Red Bulls defender Rafa Marquez has a long rap sheet when it comes to U.S. players and Major League Soccer over the past decade.
Here is a quick look:
The Cobi Jones affair
In Mexico’s humiliating World Cup 2-0 loss to Mexico at the 2002 World Cup, he head-butted Jones in the waning minutes.
The Tim Howard affair
During a 2-0 World Cup qualifying loss to the U.S. in Columbus, Ohio in February, 2009, Marquez went studs up into the goalkeeper while he was caught a cross.
The Tim Ream affair
In October, 2010, Marquez complained about defensive partner Tim Ream’s “infantile” play, earning the wrath of fans and media.
The Landon Donovan affair
Immediately after the Red Bulls dropped an MLS playoff game to the LA Galaxy on Oct. 30, 2011, Marquez threw the ball at Donovan, starting a melee. Marquez was slapped with a three-match suspension, forcing him to miss the final game of the aggregate goals series and the first two games of the 2012 season.
The Shea Salinas affair
During a corner kick late in the first half of the 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes at Red Bull Arena on April 14, Marquez grabbed Salinas and tackled him to the ground. Salinas’ suffered a fractured left clavicle and said he will be sidelined six to eight weeks. Marquez was not sanctioned by referee Ricardo Salazar during the game. Marquez was given a three-match ban, although Quakes general manager John Doyle wanted Marquez to sit for five games.
The Hans Backe affair
At halftime of the Red Bulls’ playoff tie at D.C. United on Nov. 3, Marquez threw a tirade at coach Backe and in front of the team in the RFK Stadium locker room about Costa Rican defender Roy Miller replacing him after the Mexican went out with yet another calf injury.
The final affair (aka the final straw)
And considering his history, Marquez’s final act as a Red Bull was quite appropriate. He incurred his second yellow card from referee Mark Geiger after a clumsy challenge in the 75th minute at Red Bull Arena, forcing New York to play with 10 men in what turned into a 1-0 playoff elimination defeat to D.C. United on Nov. 8.
Marquez is the only player in the 17-year history of MLS to end back-to-back playoffs with red cards.
Photo: Rafa Marquez comes into Tim Howard studs up during a World Cup qualifier in February, 2009. Andy Mead/YCJ
Categories: Mexico, North America
Tags: Cobi Jones, Hans Backe, LA Galaxy, Landon Donovan, New York Red Bulls, Rafa Marquez, San Jose Earthquakes, Shea Salinas, Tim Howard, Tim Ream