That sound you hear this morning is the sound of nearly every New York Red Bulls fan jumping up and down for joy. The black mark on their squad for the last few years has agreed to leave the club.
Yes, we are talking about Rafa Marquez here. The club and player mutually agreed to part ways today, ending an experiment that had gone terribly bad from day one. Marquez has been heavily linked to a return to his native Mexico to finish his career, and this decision will allow him to make that move.
“This decision has been made in the best interests of both parties concerned,” said new Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh, who is leading an overhaul of the organization. “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.”
Marquez earned nearly $4.6 million last season, a number that was near the tops in the league in terms of highest paid players. Given the lack of playoff success in New York with Marquez and the overall inconsistent nature of his play there, you have to believe the Red Bulls feel much better about where they are going to be able to go next year with this additional money back on the table.
You could argue that Marquez was one of the most underperforming big signings in league history. I think it could be safe to say he is up there with Denilson, Luis Angel Landin and Nery Castillo as some of the worst DP signings in league history. Throw this in there with NY signing of Lothar Matthaus back in the day, and you could say NY has had the worst foreign signings in league history. Not to mention they’ve also lots a ton of quality Americans like Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Tim Howard. Ouch.
New York continues on in this offseason with two DPs in Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry. My gut tells me they will hold on to this third DP spot until the summer transfer window, a time when the DP money isn’t as big of a hit towards the salary cap.
I think it could also be safe to say that the league is better off without a player like Marquez today.