Rafa Marquez is just one of a handful of key Red Bulls who spent time away from the club with their respective National Teams over the past week.
Despite the New York Red Bulls not playing a match since August 20, Rafael Marquez, Juan Agudelo, Dane Richards, Tim Ream, Roy Miller, and Bouna Coundoul each spent time with their respective national teams as MLS took international FIFA dates into consideration when scheduling league matches.
After dressing but not playing in a 1-1 draw against Poland last Friday, Rafa Marquez went ninety minutes for Mexico in their 1-0 victory over Chile on Sunday.
Juan Agudelo and Tim Ream each received their second consecutive call-up under U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann. Agudelo earned his second and third caps under Klinsmann as a second-half substitute against both Costa Rica and Belgium, contributing enough to the attack for ESPN commentator Ian Darke to comment that it should not be long before he gets a chance to start for the USA.
Tim Ream, on the other hand, has yet to see the field under Klinsmann. Even after a second consecutive mediocre performance by Michael Orozco Fiscal at centerback, Klinsmann opted to keep Ream on the bench against Belgium as opposed to including him in the eighteen-man match roster.
Bouna Coundoul was celebrating as he has been a key factor in Senegal's early qualification for the next African Cup of Nations. Coundoul, following-up on an incredible performance against Cameroon earlier in the summer, helped Senegal defeat Congo 2-0 and clinch its spot in the 2012 tournament that will be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Roy Miller made his Costa Rica return after being left off both the Gold Cup and Copa America rosters. He played a spotty ninety minutes against the United States, getting caught forward often and drawing a yellow card for a hard foul on Landon Donovan in the second half. To his credit, he was a part of the Tico's ten-man defense that did not concede a goal against the United States' new-look attack. Miller drew another yellow card before being subbed off in Costa Rica's 4-0 defeat against Ecuador on Wednesday.
The Reggae Boys did not fare very well in their two friendlies against South American teams, losing to Ecuador 5-2 and Colombia 2-0. Dane Richards featured in the first half for Jamaica against Ecuador before subbing off at halftime for fellow MLSer Ryan Johnson. Richards also saw time against Colombia, having an early chance barely pushed away by Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina. Jamaica has lost their last four matches including their defeat to the U.S. in the Gold Cup and against China during their August trip to the People's Republic.
The Red Bulls are back in action this Saturday night at home against the Vancouver Whitecaps, and all six players should factor in to what could be a defining match for the club's 2011 season. It should be noted that Joel Lindpere continued his trend of putting New York ahead of playing at the international level for Estonia, which he's been capped for seventy-four times.