Rafa Marquez Has Gone Too Far with Latest Incident, MLS Must Take Action

Phil Shore@@PShore15Correspondent IApril 16, 2012

HARRISON, NJ - MARCH 31: Rafa Marquez #4 of the New York Red Bulls walks to the pitch for warm ups prior to the start of the game against the Montreal Impact at Red Bull Arena on March 31, 2012 in Harrison, New Jersey.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Rafa Marquez has been nothing but a problem for the New York Red Bulls since coming to the team in the summer of 2010.

Last year, he was suspended for one game after ripping his teammates in the media and accusing them of not being on the same level as him and then was suspended for three games after he threw a ball at Landon Donovan and then feigned getting hit in a scuffle he started.

His latest incident could and should earn him even more games lost.

In Saturday’s match against the San Jose Earthquakes, Marquez was matched up against Shea Salinas on a corner kick. As Salinas moved off the goal-line to get open for the ball, Marquez wrapped his arms around Salinas and tackled him from behind. As he toppled over Salinas, Marquez then delivered a kick to Salinas that broke the Earthquake midfielder’s clavicle.

The maneuver was not seen by the referees during the game, but it was caught clearly on video. It’s time for the MLS Disciplinary Committee to step up and deal him a proper punishment.

This is obviously not Marquez’s first offense, and he even had a prior track record for violent and dirty plays before even signing with the MLS. A hard tackle here or there, even the occasional red card, happens and can be tolerated. However, fouls intentionally meant to hurt another player should never be accepted as part of the game.

A message has to be sent to Marquez, if anything will get through to him.

Not only should the league make a stand, but the Red Bulls should as well.

No player is above good sportsmanship and respecting the game, not even a Designated Player that was the third-highest paid player in the league last year. Marquez has missed so many games for New York, and if last year is any indication, he has not done a tremendous amount to help the team win games.

This should be Marquez’s third strike with the organization. As per the baseball rule or with the NFL substance abuse policy, three strikes means you’re out.

He has done nothing but cause headaches and generate negative publicity for the team and the league. Someone needs to step in and show Marquez, and any other dirty players, that if this is the way you choose to play, you will pay.

It’s uncalled for and enough is enough.