Despite support from teammates that he long ago stopped deserving. Despite assertions that the team is better when he's on the field (it's not). Despite the fact that he's one of the highest paid (overpaid) players in MLS. Rafa Marquez needs to never be seen in a Red Bull uniform ever again.
The funny thing about Sunday's match is that Marquez was by no means awful. Nor was he leaps and bounds better than those paid significantly less than him. But had he merely walked off the field at the end of the game, nobody really would have remembered this game for Marquez. Nevertheless, Marquez is getting all the headlines, once again for all the wrong reasons. As petulant a player he himself can be, there is nothing Landon Donovan could have done to provoke such schoolboy actions in a 32 year old national team captain. It's plain old embarrassing behavior. It got only worse when Marquez went down after being hit with a phantom punch. It evoked memories of LaGarrette Blount sucker punching Bryan Hout and then backing away to avoid facing the response for his actions. At least in that case, Blount was a stupid college kid. Marquez is a veteran of the highest levels. Throwing the ball at Donovan is just bush league.
In a season full of embarrassing moments where the Red Bulls have grossly underperformed, none have been more embarrassing and underperforming than Marquez. His partnership with the young Tim Ream was poisonous to the young American and he's done nothing to earn his 4.6 million dollar salary. Should the team win without Marquez on Thursday night, then those players on the field need to be rewarded for their hard work and Marquez punished for his petulance with being benched for the remainder of the postseason. Hans Backe cannot afford to have someone repeatedly spitting at his authority at such a crucial time of the season.
The message needs to be sent that Marquez's time is through in New York. The Red Bulls need to jettison this cancer as soon as possible.