We've chronicled pretty thoroughly Rafael Marquez's absence from the team, and it's been well documented...pretty much everywhere how Red Bulls fans feel about the man's presence in the line-up. But Saturday night Marquez made a fantastic pass over the top to set up Thierry Henry's first goal, an assist leveled the match and opening the scoring for the Bulls in a game they'd go on to win.
Admittedly, even from someone who isn't fond of Marquez, he did look pretty good last night, especially after missing as much time as he has. But you don't have to take it from me. In fact, you probably shouldn't. Here are his teammates' and managers takes on the issue.
"You could see at the end he was obviously out of rhythm; but you also saw what he can do,'' said Henry. "When Rafa plays, I have another option. I can move behind the defense, and you saw it tonight.
"How many times you saw me dropping tonight? None. How many times you saw me going behind the defense? Every single time. It's another dimension for me when Rafa plays; he has that game. Therefore for me, it's a bit better and you saw it on the goal. But you know exactly where I stand on Rafa.''
"I think we had four or five very precise passes over the top, and it always makes the backs a little bit uncomfortable when you know you have runners behind, when you need to cover the space behind, you need to drop. For 90 minutes we tested the back four over the top."
"His record on the field speaks for itself, I don't think we've lost with him on the field," Dax McCarty told reporters after the victory. "He takes a lot of stick from the fans and from the media sometimes, but he's a great player. You don't play at Barcelona and you don't play in World Cups and you don't play over 100 caps in Mexico unless you're a good player."