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New York Red Bulls Finally End Rafa Marquez Experiment

Rafael-MarquezThe New York Red Bulls have finally released Mexican star Rafa Marquez, who has signed for Mexican side Club Leon.

Marquez, who was signed from Barcelona, has to go down as the worst big-name signing in MLS history.

“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 arrived at the same time as Thierry Henry, but he never lived up to the hype and expectations. He was always injured, and when he did play, he rarely impressed. In his two plus seasons with the Red Bulls, Márquez appeared in just 44 regular season games. Last season, Márquez played in just 15 matches.

And when he did play, Marquez made the kind of mistakes that a veteran should not be making. He ended both the 2011 and 2012 season by getting sent off in the Red Bulls final playoff match.

The question now is how do the Red Bulls fans fill the available Designated Player slot they have?

The team’s most glaring need is for a quality attacking midfielder, like Brazilian standout Juninho Pernambucano, Whether they can land him or not is another story.

Chelsea’s Frank Lampard has been linked with a move to the LA Galaxy this summer, but could Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill persuade him to move to New York instead of Los Angeles?

Speaking of Henry, he will be joining Arsenal on loan again in January. I am hearing rumors though that the Gunners would like to make the loan go through the end of the Premier League season and not until mod February. If Henry is missing until late May, that will have a serious impact on the kind of season the Red Bulls have next year in a very competitive Eastern conference.