UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Rafa Marquez is back in the headlines for the wrong reasons, and for the first time since he broke Shea Salinas’ collarbone, someone in the New York Red Bulls organization touched on the incident.
New York Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler discussed Marquez’s latest misdemeanor, with the Mexican international facing a possible suspension after injuring Salinas when he rode him into the ground and kicked him in the second half of New York’s 2-2 draw versus the Earthquakes on Saturday.
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Soler said that play was one of four the league told him it would look at from the match, but discussed it at length given how much public outcry has come from it.
“We’d rather have no incidences than any incidence,” Soler told media after Red Bulls practice on Tuesday afternoon. “But with him, or with anybody else, it’s something we’re going to speak to him about and see if there’s anything we need to adjust."
Should Marquez receive one of the retroactive suspensions the league has been handing out this season, it would be the second time this campaign he would miss games due to a ban. Marquez was forced to sit out the first two games of the year as he finished serving a three-game suspension for an incident in last year’s playoffs.
The timing of a possible suspension could also not come at a worse time for the Red Bulls, who are dealing with various injuries to several first-team players.
“If he gets suspended again, especially at this time – we have Roy [Miller] with a slight injury, [Wilman] Conde with an injury, I just said bye-bye to Teemu [Tainio] still on his crutches – so it’s not a good time to lose a player that’s healthy,” said Soler, who anticipates a decision to come no later than Wednesday morning. “We don’t know if it’s going to be anything and I hope it won’t but we’re prepared for whatever comes.”
Soler added that the slew of injuries that has hit New York has left them looking for possible defensive reinforcements. With the transfer window now closed until the summer, the Red Bulls are eyeing experienced defenders within the league that can contribute right away if need be.
“We are always hopeful,” said Soler. “We speak to people and we discuss and I think we can figure something out, but it’s still early to say.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.