It started with Cuauhtemoc Blanco coming to the Chicago Fire, then reports of Omar Bravo going to the Kansas City Wizards and Nery Castillo also making a move to Chicago, but now the Captain of Mexico’s national team will be making a move to Major League Soccer as well.
Brian Lewis of the New York Post reports that F.C. Barcelona has allowed Rafael Marquez to leave the club on a free transfer to the New York Red Bulls and has signed a three year deal with an option for a fourth that is around three million dollars.
This is the third Designated Player that the Red Bulls wanted to bring to help get the defense better and of course had to pay up to the league to make this happen. Who will be released from the club to make room for Marquez is a different story, but for right now the club has made this deal to make that big push to solidify their playoff spot and attempt a strong playoff run into the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Everyone in the USA is well aware of Rafael Marquez playing for the Mexican National Team. The two incidents that has made him into public enemy number one was the flying head butt and leg stabbing of Cobi Jones back in the second round victory of the 2002 World Cup and last February during a home match in the 2010 World Cup Qualifier at Columbus saw Marquez kicking Tim Howard in the leg.
But despite those terrible moments he is still a quality player who can help out the backline or as a defensive midfielder. Just as Jonathan Bornstein is set to make a move into the Mexican First Division along with Herculez Gomez & Jose Francisco Torres, we are seeing some of Mexico’s top National Team players coming to Major League Soccer to play in the USA.
Why has Barcelona allowed both Thierry Henry & Marquez to leave their club and come over to the New York Red Bulls on a free transfer? Well unfortunately in the report the Catalan club has been in financial debt owing over $560 Million Euros. At the same time they have a good relationship with the New York club which played two friendly matches in 2006 & 2008 and of course trying to get a club in MLS.
Is there going to be a pipeline from Barcelona to New York when Dani Alvez & Lionel Messi decides to move away from Catalan side? probably not. I believe for right now there is a strong friendship between the two sides and this was just something they had to do now. They will make deals with other clubs or allow their players who are at the end of their contracts to make similar moves if they want to go back home.