No Rafael Marquez story is complete without an assessment of his hard time in New York, so here it goes: Calling Rafael Marquez a pariah around Red Bull Arena is too soft a description.
And why not? With his $4.5 million salary, good enough for second best in the league, he's the Murphy's Law of Designated Players. When he's in the line-up, which isn't that often, his play isn't always great, save the last few games.
But if there's one thing Marquez is right about, it was his assessment of the Red Bulls' play Saturday night.
While most players were content with the draw, evidenced by the lack of urgency while dominating possession post-Andy Najar red card, Marquez told MLSsoccer.com that he senses the need for a sea change in the Red Bulls' locker room...
"It wasn't a good game for us ... It wasn't the same level we showed the last few games. We need to change our attitude if we are to live up to our expectations of something bigger."
The 1-1 draw at RFK this weekend seemed to be according to plan, but it didn't look particularly good. The Red Bulls looked listless. They got off to a slow start. D.C. United got a number of opportunities off the bat. Things sort of changed with Luis Robles penalty kick save on Chris Pontius, but a better strike from Pontius and the ugly 1-1 draw becomes a D.C. beat down relatively quickly. The possession stats are skewed simply because Ben Olsen and his boys were content to sit 9 men behind the ball and let the Red Bulls have at it.
While it's true the Red Bulls are two different teams on the road and at home, Marquez, who's suffered another frustrating injury and will likely sit out Wednesday (if past practice is the best measure of future performance), has a point: If they come out flat again, they'll get punished and D.C. will send the Red Bulls packing once again.