Christmas has come early for Red Bull fans.
After two injury riddled, suspension laden and controversy filled years in New York, the Red Bulls have finally cut ties with Rafa Marquez, reaching a mutual agreement that will allow the former Mexican captain to pursue other career interest which may include a move towards Liga MX 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.”
Marquez signed with the club back in August of 2010 as a Designated Player. Though he came aboard with high hopes, he never managed to meet the expectations. Often disgruntled, the enigmatic defender had his run-ins on and off the pitch. When he wasn’t picking up head scratching red cards in key situations (he was sent off two consecutive years during the playoffs), he was causing a stir in the locker room – most notably during the 2011 season when he called out his teammates and set his cross hairs on Tim Ream.
Details of the release were not made available.
With Rafa’s departure, New York now has the ability to sign a third designated player. Recently, the club sought Juninho Pernambucano of Vasco da Gama, but the Brazilian’s home side made a large offer that the Red Bulls would have had trouble matching. This may open the door to resume negotiations for the 38 year old attacking midfielder or for the club to seek other opportunities.
No matter what the future may hold, Rafa Marquez will no longer be in it for New York.