Sunday, April 15, 2012

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

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

He was suspended for one game last year after ripping his teammates in the media and accusing them of not being on the same level as him, and then the league suspended him 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 and it’s time for the MLS Disciplinary Committee to step up and deal a proper punishment for him.

This is obviously not Marquez’s first offense and he had a prior track record to violent and dirty plays before ever signing with 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 negative publicity for the team and the league. Someone needs to step in and show not only Marquez but also every other dirty player that is even thinking about coming into the league that if this is the way you choose to play, you will pay.

It’s uncalled for and enough is enough.

Photo Credit.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

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