In case you missed it, the Red Bulls played the San Jose Earthquakes to a draw over the weekend.
It's worth noting since Saturday was one of those games where the result isn't the story, although the defense did look especially anemic without Wilman Conde and the Bulls could barely keep possession in the second half. The takeaway from this one was bad referring on the part of Ricardo Salazar and no play was more representative of it than when Rafael Marquez broke Shea Salinas' collarbone on a play that looked more NFL than MLS and got off scot-free.
DIRTY PLAY RAFAEL MARQUEZ KICKS SHEA SALINAS !!! (via Justlikethisclips)
The list of grievances against Marquez is long. To keep it brief: First, he throws Tim Ream under the bus. Then he get suspended three games for a post-playoff game scuffle with the LA Galaxy. Now he breaks a guy's collarbone, kicks him (allegedly), and and is likely looking at a lengthy suspension.
All this has fans clamoring to throw him out of the league and pundits calling for his ejection from the national team.
But it isn't just fans and MLS watchers upset with Marquez. For Erik Soler said, pretty simply, something's up with Marquez and it ain't good.
"Any player that puts the team at risk during a game because of cards or suspension is worrying. ... Rafa is a special player for us. We’d rather have no incidents than any incidents, so I think with him or anybody else it’s something we’re going to speak to him about and see if there’s anything that needs adjusting."
"If he gets suspended again especially at this time, it’s very unfortunate. ... I mean, we have Roy (Miller) with a slight injury, we have Conde with an injury we have just said by to Teemu (Tainio) still on his crutches, so it’s not a good time for us to lose a player that’s healthy. We’ll see. But we don’t know if it’s going to be anything or not. I hope it won’t. But we’ll prepare for whatever comes."
Marquez isn't going to be the only one under review, and might not be the only one getting suspended as there were more than a few dirty tackles over the course of that game, but if justice is to be served, Marquez is going to bear the brunt of that justice. And that doesn't make Hans Backe's job any easier.