So after Wednesday night’s debacle at Red Bull Arena against Real Salt Lake, the backline for the New York Red Bulls has been absolutely dreadful. You have a future US national team centerback in Tim Ream paired up with a veteran of the Mexican national team in Rafa Marquez.
This latest loss has many questioning if this team will truly make the playoffs for the MLS Cup. But during the locker room interviews, all the players said that “We have to do a much better job. We should’ve done better, and we should’ve played the full ninety.”
We should do this, we should do that, but sadly someone didn’t say that. With the local Spanish speaking media, Rafa Marquez decided to point the finger at his teammates on the backline and forgot to turn his thumb to himself.
Dave Martinez of EmpireofSoccer was able to translate Marquez’s comments. And after reading them on his site it sounds like a hint of arrogance as well as a full plate of ego was flowing at Marquez’s stall. Here are some of those quotes:
“If you watched the game, there were individual errors that you can’t do anything about, 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.”
And about his center back partner Tim Ream?
“Tim is still a young player with a lot to learn. He still has quite a lot to learn, and well, he has committed errors that are very infantile and cost us goals.”
Talk about throwing your partner and your team mates under the bus.
I can count many times where Marquez was caught ball-watching and wasn’t fast enough to hustle back and make an attempt to steal the ball. While it is true that Tim Ream is on a sophomore slump, the communication has been lacking on the field.
At least the rest of the squad is not happy with what’s going on and they aren’t blaming each other. When Marquez talked to the English press, none of that was discussed and it was ho-hum as usual. He dismissed the crowd when they booed him and ignored their message.
In this town that demands a lot from their professional athletes in any sport, even the top players are booed to get them back to their regular ways of scoring or creating strong plays. It’s happened to Mark Messier of the Rangers, Patrick Ewing of the Knicks, Eli Manning of the NY Giants, and Mariano Rivera of the Yankees. Don’t forget at the start of the season Thierry Henry was booed until he turned it all around.
Marquez and company have the opportunity to turn all of this around on Saturday against the Portland Timbers. But if Marquez makes a crucial error and decides not to take the high road again, then it’s all over and the club must decide what to do with him.