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Done Deal, Red Bulls Sign Rafael Marquez As Third D.P.


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.

But as of right now the official announcement for Marquez will be this coming Friday and you can bet this will be a mad house at Red Bull Arena when the Mexican, Spanish American Media will cover the day.

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  1. MariaP

    August 3, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Simply, Barcelona is getting rid of excess baggage, Marquez and Thierry have not been playing well lately and they are both past their prime 🙂

  2. Alan

    August 3, 2010 at 3:11 am

    I personally would have like for him to stay in Europe and I’m sure he would find a team in a heart but fact that the matter is that, in any other team he is just going to be a regular player that plays good. Playing in the mls is he is going to be star. He is going to start every game and finish. It was the right move to do, he only has a couple more years before he retires. Think about how much money he is going to make out of endorements. Red bulls in the other hand are going to have a world class player and make even more profits
    Out of him. People will attend the games just to go see him, and I’m one of them. This was prob the best move for him. By the way I just became a red bulls fan just because of rafa.

  3. Julio

    August 2, 2010 at 1:49 am

    No this is bad news He should have stayed and sign with another European team.

  4. m

    July 30, 2010 at 10:36 am

    this came way out of left field for me..i think he can start on 90% of the team in europe….as far as being dirty…hes a defender thats his job…this should be like taking candy from a baby…It looks like mls is stealing a page from the nba and starting to fix finals

  5. benjamin

    July 29, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    I think Marquez should have sign with juventus, roma,ac milan, sampdoria or napoli from Itali since this clubs wanted him and he always wanted to play in Itali.Or he could even have sign with Galatasary from Turkey. But he wanted to return home because he was tire of living in Europe and I think he choose New York because it’s full of latin people wich he will feel like at home. He is a graet player that could still give a lot on the pitch. I think that new york is going to make a lot off money off of Marquez by selling shirts and seats.

  6. Dan

    July 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    You spelled DANI ALVES name wrong….

    • Daniel Feuerstein

      August 2, 2010 at 4:17 pm

      Thanks for the help.

  7. Rafa Marquez

    July 28, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I am ggggggaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrbbbbbbbbbaaaaaaaaaaaagggggggggggeeee.

    Okay, seriously, this is a good signing for the Red bulls to sure up that shotty defense, even with a defender that is clearly past his prime (and in his prime he was far from world class). But, from a pr standpoint, I don’t know what they are thinking. Im not sure how any self respecting USMNT supporter will be able to do anything but to boo Rafa constantly. I have enjoyed Angel on NY and i liked Red bulls more with Henry’s signing, but now they have gone straight to the bottom of the pile for me. Hope he gets scorched by Ching next week.

    • Dave C

      July 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm

      @Rafa –
      If Marquez is really that hated amongst US fans, then it could actually be a smart move to get him into MLS. It might increase attendances for Red Bull’s away games, because the opposition fans will show up just to boo him.

      As for him being far from world class even in his prime – well I guess that depends on what you mean by world class, but the guy has played for Barca, won La Liga and the European Champions League. That’s makes him pretty good in my book.

    • Brickthrower

      July 28, 2010 at 3:02 pm

      They probably saw the ridiculous attendance at the new Meadowland stadium for Mexico and thought “cha ching”. So who cares if he’s played dirty against Americans in the past and had a sub par last few seasons.

  8. eplnfl

    July 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Love to see him in the MLS. Yet this is not good for my Chicago Fire. Is MLS acting like the NBA here? You can already see them counting TV numbers for LA-NY final.

    • Charles

      July 28, 2010 at 2:32 pm

      Please do NOT do that comparison. Like calling someone’s mom a whore.
      Nothing will match up to the games the NBA has thrown to get the Finals they want.
      LA-Sacremento, Seattle-Phoenix two being the tips of that MASSIVE iceberg.

  9. james

    July 28, 2010 at 11:33 am

    This is what is starting to annoy me about the MLS: Teams have 3 DPs and the Quakes have none.

    • Daniel Feuerstein

      July 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm

      That’s the Quakes fault. They have two automatic D.P. Spots & can purchase a third. The Quakes have to spend the money to get those type of players here, don’t blame the rest of MLS on what the Quakes are not doing.

      • james

        July 28, 2010 at 1:43 pm

        False. MLS teams are not autonomous and the MLS controls player contracts, etc. The MLS has a large degree of influence in terms of who signs where when it comes to DPs and it’s not surprising which teams have 3 and which teams have none.

        • Brickthrower

          July 28, 2010 at 2:44 pm

          Believe me. MLS tries to get DP’s outside of the NY and LA markets. The fact of the matter is international players want to go to big name cities for living purposes. San Jose has been given the same list of international players looking to come to the MLS that all the other teams have.

    • Cavan

      July 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm

      Remember that no D.P.’s have turned weak teams into first place teams. They tend to enhance an already good team. Barros-Schelotto in Columbus (I can’t remember if he’s technically one right now but he’s functionally one) didn’t immediately turn the Crew around. They were being rebuilt under coach Schmid. Beckham didn’t turn around the Galaxy. It took massive rebuilding under coach Arena then he was able to do what he does best. Same with Angel for the Red Bulls.

      Also, for every good D.P. there have been failed D.P.’s, most recently Landin in Houston. As a United fan, I’ll never forget the epic fail of bringing in Gallardo. Dallas fans will probably not forget the unintentional comedy Denilson brought in.

      I wouldn’t stress about it too much. New York needs D.P.’s to become relevant in the New York market. Mass market New York fans (not counting great fans like ESG who’ve always been there) want to get behind a glamorous winner. Yes, they’re mostly frontrunners but that’s how it is up there. It’s RBNY’s only ticket to selling out their shiny new stadium.

      While I’ve never been there, I’m guessing San Jose is a different story?

  10. Mathew Davis

    July 28, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Great signing. All three Designated Players were well chosen by NYRB. Marquez and Henry have chemistry from their time at Barca and can shore up both ends of the pitch, they both have no international duties to distract them which is essential when playing in the U.S. due to the distances needed to travel for matches. Henry and Angel really seem to care as well, Marquez remains to be seen.

  11. joe steel

    July 27, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Rafa has never been greedy and Barca has spent $25,000,000 purchasing the following idiots who could never surpass him. 1. Caceres 2. Gabriela Millito 3. Chikigrinsky. All were flops except in other clubs or because Milito came back from injury and got on a good stint. Rafa even benched Puyol who is much older than he. Frankly I think/hope Marquez reflects and goes to Juventus who are more than willing to pay his transfer fee and more money than Bulls. Presently Rafa makes much less at Barca than he’s being offered at NY. Barca jealous freaks/haters cry because of his supposed high salary yet fail to realize that he costs $5 million to acquire unlike the other three flops mentioned. If you don’t believe he’s better than those fairies just look at youtube. Who can do what he does?

  12. Abram

    July 27, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    New York seems to be one player short of turning into Cosmos 2.0

  13. Ryan

    July 27, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Barca had to take a loan out in June to pay their players wages, so none of this should come as a surprise….Good for Red Bulls, Good for MLS. the more quality you put on the pitch the more you grow the game

  14. njndirish

    July 27, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Damn, Barca must be in really bad financial trouble. This is the second player they’ve released for free. I assume their contracts were just too much strain on the clubs books, and it wasn’t worth trying to get a transfer fee out of NY.

    Also NY will sellout with such famous/infamous in CONCACAF lore

    NY has officially become the team of hated players. Irish hate Henry, USMNT fans hate Marquez.

  15. Dave C

    July 27, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Wow, I think this is great news for the Red Bulls. I actually think from a marketing point of view, it could equal the signing of Henry. Marquez will really sell a lot of shirts (and hopefully tickets) amongs NY/NJ’s large Mexican community.

    I also think he’ll be very useful on the pitch. Injuries have slowed him down a bit, but he’s undoubtedly still got a lot of class. I think if he had wanted to, he could still have got a contract at a higher level than the MLS (no offence).

    I would just make a minor quibble with Daniel F asking “why Barca has allowed both Henry and Marquez to leave and join Red Bulls on a free transfer.” Well in the case of Henry, it had nothing to do with Barca “allowing” him to leave – his contract had expired, and so he was free to do whatever he wanted. Given that Henry had dropped down the pecking order significantly in the last year, it’s no surprise that they weren’t offering him a contract he would agree to. I’m not sure of Marquez’s contractual situation, but given that he’s hardly played for the last year or so, and now he has both Puyol and Pique ahead of him, it’s not really surprising that it would be in the best interest of both Marquez and Barca that he be allowed to leave.

    • Daniel Feuerstein

      July 27, 2010 at 4:24 pm

      Actually Dave C, Henry was still under contract with Barca. He had one full year left on his contract which was this coming La Liga Season, but decided to leave after this past World Cup.

      Barca allowed Henry to get out of the final year on the contract and gave him the free transfer to the Red Bulls. What probably happened with Marquez is that NY was allowed to pay whatever was left on the Barca contract to Marquez & to give him a regualr contract with MLS.

      That is my opinion of what is going on.

      Thanks for the minor quibble. I love having one of those Dave C. 😉

      • Dave C

        July 28, 2010 at 11:49 am

        Oh OK…I was under the impression that Henry was out of contract, but having just checked Wikipedia, I see you’re right.

        I’m surprised at how Barca suddenly seem to have these financial troubles. I wonder if it’s just media-exaggeration (which is common in football-finance reporting), or if things really are that bad? Especially as they still seem keen on signing Fabregas for big money.

  16. edmondi

    July 27, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    nice this a very good news

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