Major League Soccer

Red Bulls To Play Márquez In Defense This Year

Rafa Márquez’s much-rumored move from the Red Bulls’ midfield to the back line looks set to become a reality. Márquez, who spent much of last year in New York’s midfield despite playing mostly as a center back for the Mexican national team and his previous club, FC Barcelona.

However, now it seems likely he will join US international Tim Ream in central defense for 2011.

“I said this to Erik [Solér, RBNY’s sporting director], ‘This is his position,’” NY Red Bulls manager Hans Backe told the media recently on a conference call. “There’s no doubt. He is absolutely a leader in the back four. We’ll use him as a center back, definitely.”

Moving Márquez to center-half means that the NYRB now have a big hole in center midfield that needs to be filled in the next five weeks before the MLS season gets underway.