Tag Archives: Rafa Marquez

A Letter to Hans Backe: Time is Running Out

By Ryan Fleming

 

The New York Red Bulls are in dire times. This statement could have been repeated countless times this season. Each time Hans Backe would have replied, ‘things will be alright and the team would get through it.’ Well, Mr. Backe, this is your last chance.

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Los Angeles Galaxy Make Moves at MLS Re-Entry Draft With Cup In Sight.

The Los Angeles Galaxy traded up in Major League Soccer's Re-Entry Draft on Wednesday so the Galaxy could select Former New York Red Bull's forward Juan Pablo Angel. (Courtesy Diego Valenzuela)

By Kevin Koczwara

Despite being a dominant regular-season force the last two seasons, The Los Angeles Galaxy have not been able to claim an MLS Cup in either try. David Beckham, Landon Donovan and company couldn’t get the job done when it came time to buckle down and win in the postseason the last two years. The Galaxy may have solved some of its problems yesterday when it made some bold moves during the MLS Re-Entry Draft.

Los Angeles traded up to the fifth pick (the Houston Dynamo’s pick) in the draft to select former New York Red Bull forward and designated player Juan Pablo Angel. The Red Bull’s all-time leading goalscorer did not have his option picked up by New York at the end of the season because the club had signed two other designated players from Barcelona, Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez.

The Galaxy’s pursuit of Angel shows the league that the club isn’t giving up hope on winning an MLS Cup with Deavid Beckham, and have to be heavy favorites going into next year. Angel scored 61 goals in four seasons with New York, including playoffs, and he will add to the Galaxy’s already potent attack.

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New York Red Bulls Remarkable Turnaround

Rafa Marquez celebrates with New York's supports group. The former Barcelona midfielder has added another dimension to New York's midfieldsince signing as the team's third designated player. (Courtesy Alison Ciarleglio of APC Studio)

By Kevin Koczwara

Manager Hans Backe and the New York Red Bulls had a lot of work to do last winter after a dismal 2009 season that saw the team finish with Major League Soccer’s worst record (5-6-19). Last night all the hard work paid off as the team clinched its second regular season Eastern Conference Championship in club history – the first in 10 years.

“There was just room for improvement. We couldn’t do worse than last year. We just came in and worked hard, and we [qualified for the playoffs],” said Red Bulls midfielder Dane Richards after defeating the New England Revolution, 2-0, Thursday night. Richards scored the game-winning goal. “It’s not over yet with the playoffs. Hopefully we have three more games left, and we can go all the way with it.”

New York transformed from a struggling club in a hot bed of soccer to an ideal place to play in less than a season. Much of the transformation had little to do with the the big offseason and midseason moves that littered headlines.

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Thierry Henry's positive impact on MLS

The signing of Thierry Henry by the New York Red Bulls is a landmark signing for the MLS. Henry's choice to move to the MLS rather than another European league is a major boost for American soccer. Courtesy David Clerihew/RBNY

By Kevin Koczwara

Thierry Henry started his Major League Soccer career with two assists for the New York Red Bulls in a 2-2 draw with the Houston Dynamo on July 31. It was a bittersweet debut for the France international, his team gave up a stoppage time equalizer, and he missed his chance to opening his scoring account with an opportunity that he has too often back of the net. His missed opportunity might have cost the Red Bulls three points as it would have been the insurance goal the team needed late in the game.

But that was over a month ago and the Red Bulls have Rafa Marquez – its third designated player.

Marquez played with Henry’s at Barcelona the past few years and also found himself on the outside looking in on the Catalan giants squad and decided a move to the MLS was worth a shot. Marquez is Mexico’s captain and a good image for the league’s marketing schemes much like Blanco was for Chicago and the MLS just a season ago. Marquez is a skilled veteran player who will help show the rest of the world that America’s top-flight league keeps getting better.

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