ARLINGTON, Texas – New York Red Bulls defender Rafa Márquez will miss his second straight tune-up match for Mexico due to injury, but he still holds out hope he can be ready for the start of World Cup qualifying.
The longtime Mexican captain was forced to watch training from the sidelines on Saturday at Cowboys Stadium as Mexico conducted their final training session on the eve of a massive international friendly on Sunday against Brazil (3 pm ET, Univision).
Márquez is still nursing a right quadriceps injury suffered in last Sunday's 2-0 win over Wales. It also forced him to sit out Thursday night’s affair against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“It’s difficult,” the NYRB Designated Player told reporters on Saturday afternoon. “You never want to be injured in these situations, but now I have to support and help the team have a good environment.”
El Tri begin the road to World Cup qualification June 8 in Mexico City against Guyana and El Kaiser, as Márquez is nicknamed, said he will be prepared for the occasion.
“I think next week in Mexico, I intend to be 100 percent ready with the team,” he added.
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Said Mexico head coach José Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre: “We are checking on Rafa and his progress, monitoring it and nothing more. We are going to go little by little.”
Márquez acknowledged that a report was sent to the Red Bulls and they were aware of his current situation.
He also assured that he was not in any pain, but when passing the ball he wasn’t at his best.
“Its simply a bit of insecurity because the leg – with the passes that I make – it’s an area I work more frequently and sometimes it bothers me a bit,” Márquez continued. “In the past few days I haven’t done any passing or anything like that and I have to wait until next week.”
The veteran of three World Cups praised the Brazilian team and also the sold out crowd that will be in attendance on Sunday afternoon at Cowboys Stadium.
“It’s a great team, it’s a great stadium,” he said, “and it’s a great feeling with a full stadium. I’ll take it in from the sidelines and support the team.”