UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. — The nagging hamstring injury that has sidelined star defender Rafa Márquez since the Gold Cup will likely keep him from playing in the MLS All-Star game, according to All-Star head coach Hans Backe.
"I don't think we'll play Rafa Márquez," Backe said on Thursday of the Red Bulls star's chances of suiting up against Manchester United on July 27.
Márquez was chosen by the fans as part of the MLS All-Star First XI, announced last Sunday. Although Backe is not obligated to include any player on the game day roster that he’ll announce on MLSsoccer.com next Monday, June 18, Márquez was a likely candidate to anchor the MLS back line against the Red Devils because of his extensive international experience.
But Márquez has not suited up for New York since going down with a hamstring injury late in the first half of Mexico’s 4-2 win over the United States in the Gold Cup final on June 25.
Backe said Márquez could possibly see his first action in nearly a month next Wednesday at Colorado, but may not be ready to start.
The Red Bulls coach also said that striker Luke Rodgers — who has six goals and three assists in his first season in MLS — has been ruled out of any contention to play in the All-Star Game because of a persistent heel injury.