Rafa Marquez: Teammates Not “On My Level”

Image / Mike Stobe Getty Images

Maybe it was the embarrassing nature of New York’s 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake or perhaps it was the supporters vitriol that rained down upon him each and every time he had a touch on the ball. Whatever it was, Rafa Marquez was in rare form last night, taking his vocal on-field character into the locker room in a pull no punches post game exchange with the media.

In a game where his gaffes were minimal, Marquez bore the brunt of the fans displeasure. Coach Hans Backe blamed the “media” for the fans reaction. Marquez, however, seemed unaffected. “I didn’t even notice,” claimed the Mexican captain, who taunted the crowd during the worst of the cat calling. “I focus on my job. I didn’t even notice what was going on with the public.”

What Marquez did notice, however, was the way his team underperformed. “If you watched the game, there were individual errors that you can’t do anything about,” he stated, echoing a similar assertion by Coach Backe in his post game comments. “If we look at statistics, I stole a lot of balls. I think I made two or three bad passes out of 30 plus attempts. I almost didn’t commit any errors, so I am not worried. I think I am playing at my maximum level, and doing everything I can. I don’t have, unfortunately, four defenders on my level that can help me out.”

Asked about the lack of communication on the defensive line, particularly with his partner Tim Ream, Marquez let his feelings be known. “Tim is still a young player with a lot to learn,” he said. “He still has quite a lot to learn, and well, he has committed errors that are very infantile and cost us goals.”

When confronted about the teams lack of urgency after Ream’s gaffe, Marquez was equally blunt. “Well, its difficult when things don’t go well, when you have these types of errors,” he said. “It is difficult for the team to go up after mistakes happened not once, but several times. If we do not learn to stop making these type of errors, we will have these types of results.”

As far as a solution to the problems haunting his side, Marquez was clearly at a loss. “I don’t know, I don’t know,” he said with a desperate chuckle. “We are in the final stages here, and we still haven’t had any reaction. The other day against Dallas, we were very lucky. Today, we weren’t so lucky.”

Clearly, the team looks to be lost in a tactical sense, but the center back didn’t believe a change in strategy would help the side. “Well, it is difficult. It is difficult at this point in the season to change the tactics, but the only thing we can do is push forward with what we have.” He continued. “We have to react when we are losing, and not go down early like we did. We haven’t learned our lesson. We have to leave this game behind us, and try to learn from it the fastest way possible so that we have a chance to qualify. We have to think that we have five finals, and try to play them like so in order to reach something important, because it has been a tough year.”

Though he kept a straight face throughout his blunt assertions, Marquez was most animate when asked if he is happy playing in New York. “Me? I live very well,” Marquez said. “It’s something I wanted, something I looked for. Personally, things are turning out well, but I was looking for that, for a calmer environment, and I am very well. I believe in my performance, I am giving the most I have. Like I said, you can see the statistics and you can see the completed passes I have made, and the balls I have taken away, along with another assist.”

“I think that this is a team game, and unfortunately, there isn’t an equal level between perhaps (Thierry Henry) and myself, and our teammates.”

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45 Comments on "Rafa Marquez: Teammates Not “On My Level”"

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mike.
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4 years 10 months ago

Oh HELL no.

Wes C
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Wes C
4 years 10 months ago

Get f*cked, Rafa.

svenghali79
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svenghali79
4 years 10 months ago

adios senor marquez, por favor.

Homebrew
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4 years 10 months ago

Dave,
Great coverage of this Rafa debacle. I think, yeah, sure, Rafa may very well be a level above other players on our team, but if that’s true then he has just been mailing it in for most of the season. A sublime assist is cancelled out by lazy defensive play letting a goal be scored. I want to see that “other level” from him for 90 minutes of every match. And we never do, unless, of course, he’s wearing the tricolors.

But hey, at least he’s living very well.

bumbletucky
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bumbletucky
4 years 10 months ago

Eat a dick.

sapo
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sapo
4 years 10 months ago
Hello dave, it has been awhile and I hope all is well. I just want to say I thought the Rafa signing was going to be a huge one. Just as important as Henry’s. I never thought I could be so wrong. He is a huge disappointment to the team and the league. he has thumbed his nose to the fans and his teammates with this last statement. I take that back. Rafa, you are correct. I don’t think your teammates are on your level. They would never talk about their fellow teammates in public like this or disrespect the… Read more »
G
Guest
G
4 years 10 months ago

Something needs to be done at Saturday’s game. A Tifo, booing, something. Outrageous. Disrespectful. And not true. Keel plays at a higher level than Rafa at this point. What a clown.

Mighty Soccer
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Mighty Soccer
4 years 10 months ago

“Keel plays at a higher level than Rafa at this point.”

–no he doesn’t.

Gabriel
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Gabriel
4 years 10 months ago

Tackless? Yes. True? You betcha. This is the problem with most mls teams. 2-3 good players don’t make a good team. Spend ridiculous money(in mls cap dollars) to sign the aging superstars, and populate the rest of the team with no-name players who can run but not think.

dave johnson
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dave johnson
4 years 10 months ago

Like I was saying nothing he said wasn’t true. Ream has stunk all year, and there is no one of his caliber out there sans Titi. Don’t kill the guy for speaking the truth.

Gino D. P.
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Gino D. P.
4 years 10 months ago

Who conducted this interview?? and in what language? It seems that there is alot lost in translation here. YOU CAN’T TRANSLATE WORD BY WORD specially in SOCCER TERMS because it would sound so bad. Like “infantile” for unforced errors or “same level” for EXPERIENCED!! or “I live well” for I feel comfortable playing and living in NY!!! If those were his responses in English, he should learn how to respond better. From most of the previous interviews I heard from him in Spanish this sounds NOTHING like Rafa Marquez..

Christian
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Christian
4 years 10 months ago

Who is he to taunt fans and use that language for his teammates? He was signed to be a veteran leader he’s failed to do that and must go ASAP

larry
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larry
4 years 10 months ago
1. I wish Rafa would retire from international football. I actually think Mexico is wasting their time calling him up. Really, he’ll be 35 or 36 for the next world cup. He is too slow at this point to be affective against non-Concacaf teams. 2. Since the injury at the Gold Cup, he has not been the same. 3. Rafa, why did you go there. I think he really really took the booing very personal because no one else on NYRB was booed. And think about it, why weren’t they booing Tim Ream. His error really put the nail on… Read more »
Jeff
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Jeff
4 years 10 months ago

Perhaps I wasn’t watching the same game as Rafa last night but I’m pretty sure he got burnt by the pass for the final goal

Metro-211-7
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Metro-211-7
4 years 10 months ago

Yes, I kind a feel some leaks in the translation! However, the core message is there!

1. His team-mates are not as good as him!
2. He did play well (many passes and an assist)!
3. His team-mates give the ball away too often and easily!
4. He does not deserve to be booed, if any deserved to be booed, it had to bee his back-line team-mates!
5. You can’t win games if you have to play with these players who do not understand high-level soccer.

Etc, etc, etc,….

larry
Guest
larry
4 years 10 months ago
That third goal was a midfield and defensive lapse by a few of the NYRB combined with excellent one touch combination football by RSL, not just Rafa. And that’s the truth. Should we expect more, yes, of course, but we are booing a guy who was swayed by Soler with the promise of a sweet paycheck to live in NYC and play football..who wouldn’t take it. Has all the international games in the Gold Cup and Friendlies plus the injury and his age and diminishing physical attributes hindered his play, absolutely, but he was not the worst player on the… Read more »
Catamount
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Catamount
4 years 10 months ago
LA Galaxy supporter here. This sounds pretty familiar. Neither our Grumpy (David Beckham) or your Gripey (Rapha Marquez) have ever played in a truly competitive situation except for their national team. There are no easy games in MLS, therefore there are no moments to waste, no passes to squander, no expectation that your team will be better at every position on the pitch. Neither of these prima donna’s know what it means to compete every moment of every game. That’s what it takes to win the supporters shield and MLS Cup. They have always played in environments where their front… Read more »
JJS
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JJS
4 years 10 months ago

I was at the game. Rafa is delusional. He made very clear mistakes in the backfield as well as Tim Ream. Simply because he fails to accept some blame here shows that he is not the right “veteran” to have on the team. He is right about 1 thing. Ream is young and has a lot to learn. Rafa is not young and is on the decline. Get ready for more BOOs Saturday against Portland. I will certainly be part of it.

On The Record
Guest
On The Record
4 years 10 months ago

No booing on Saturday. Marquez has been suspended by the club for one game.

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[…] « Rafa Marquez: Teammates Not “On My Level” […]

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[…] Full story: Empire of Soccer […]

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[…] Wednesday he decided to top it off by going full villain in his post match quotes to our very own Dave Martinez and Brian Lewis of the NY Post. . I think I am playing at my maximum level, and doing everything I […]

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[…] 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on the weekend. Marquez told reporters that his teammates were “not on [his] level” and threw his center back partner, young American Tim Ream, under t…. Somewhat of a villain in US Soccer circles for a history of dirty play against the US while […]

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[…] all night) to get his thoughts.  Here are some of his quotes (you can check out the full article here, video […]

Timbers Army
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Timbers Army
4 years 10 months ago

I’m praying that the Mighty Mighty Timbers will capitalize on all this Red Bull Sh*t on Saturday! RCTID!!!

Chris
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Chris
4 years 10 months ago

Rafa Marquez had part of the fault on the third goal, people need to be objective and realize the poor marking on Saborio’s goal and the kindergarden Ream present, one of the worst errors in MLS in 2011. The truth is, the game was decided before the partial Marquez mistake; had Rafa not talk to the media that night, Ream would have been the focal point of smack talk but Marquez brought the attention to himself, unconsciously protecting Ream. All redbulls need to get serious if they want to get somewhere this year, there is still a chance for them.

larry
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larry
4 years 9 months ago

Dave, I read one passage in an article where Tim Ream didn’t even wait around to talk to the media that evening. He bolted. Is that true?

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[…] Rafa Marquez: Teammates Not “On My Level” » Empire Of Soccer 4. He does not deserve to be booed, if any deserved to be booed, it had to bee his back-line team-mates! 5. You can't win games if you have to play with these players who do not understand high-level soccer. Etc, etc, etc,… …http://www.empireofsoccer.com/ .. […]

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[…] for comments. In fact, the last time Marquez spoke to the media was after the Real Salt Lake loss on September 21st when he made his infamous comments to ‘Empire” regarding his teammates level of play and Tim Ream’s “infantile” […]

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[…] era. Each and every week, Marquez leaves his teammates out to dry by ducking the press. Since Empire broke Rafa’s damning comments about his teammates and, in particular, Tim Ream, the Red Bulls midfielder has refused to speak to the press in his own […]

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[…] he fell prey to the sophomore jinx on several occasions and was at the center of the storm in this years Rafa Marquez controversy, it did little to deter clubs from inquiring on the defenders services who’s composed style […]

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[…] serves his suspension and returns for a home fixture against Salt Lake. After a 3-1 drubbing, he calls out his teammates. Claiming they are not on his or Thierry Henry’s level, he rips the play of his club and even […]

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[…] Oh… […]

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[…] strong, his lack of pace could make him look like he was unwilling to work for the team, and off-field comments about team mates not being on his “level” did not help the second-highest paid player in the league appear to be the most gracious […]

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[…] strong, his lack of pace could make him look like he was unwilling to work for the team, and off-field comments about team mates not being on his “level” did not help the second-highest paid player in the league appear to be the most gracious […]

@ElPupusador
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3 years 1 month ago

@srtaintelectual http://t.co/vEFjeuKKWd

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[…] never came to fruition. Instead, costly fouls, a prickly temperament and an infamous tirade over the poor level of his teammates led the Mexican defender to become the Red Bulls’ black […]

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[…] importantly, serendipity landed them Rafa Marquez. Rafa’s poor play and, more importantly, degrading public comments about the quality of the play and his teammates burned many a bridge with MLS and the Red Bulls. He wanted to return to Liga MX, but few clubs were […]

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[…] importantly, serendipity landed them Rafa Marquez. Rafa’s poor play and, more importantly, degrading public comments about the quality of the play and his teammates burned many a bridge with MLS and the Red Bulls. He wanted to return to Liga MX, but few clubs were […]

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