The 31-year-old joins his former Barcelona teammate, Thierry Henry, in New York, and his arrival raises a host of questions, such as:
How well will he have to play to get U.S. fans to forgive him for this?
That’s U.S. midfielder Cobi Jones laid out by a combination head-butt/kung-fu kick from Marquez in the 2002 World Cup. Really, he combined both in one maneuver.
If he helps deliver an MLS title to New York, though, we’ll let bygones be bygones.
What position will he play?
Marquez played at centerback for Barcelona, but he can also play as a holding midfielder.
It’s a tough call as to where the Red Bulls need more help, in the back or in midfield, and equally tough as to where Marquez would be more useful.
Carlos Mendes has been starting ahead of Mike Petke in the center of defense recently, but to no appreciable improvement, so a Marquez-Tim Ream pairing there would be a big upgrade.
The center of midfield has been a concern all season, as the team has never found a suitable partner for Joel Lindpere. But Marquez, while an experienced, skillful player, is not a playmaking midfielder, which is really what they need in that spot.
Who will get displaced by his arrival?
Many observers are saying it’ll be veteran Seth Stammler, and that may happen, but if it does, there will be howls of protest from the Backpost Home Office.
They’ll sound something like this:
“What about Carl Robinson?! Stammler can play on the wing in addition to the middle—versatility that should count for something—and he’s miles better than Robinson no matter where he plays!
“Robinson’s a stiff! Did no one notice how the team’s recent unbeaten streak coincided with Robinson being sidelined by a knee injury? Seriously, the guy brings nothing to the table—unless you want fouls in dangerous areas, lost possession in midfield and slow-footed defensive cover at the table.
“Grrrraaaaghhh! It shoulda been Robinson!”
But we’ll try to contain ourselves until we see what happens.
Marquez will be introduced to the media tomorrow afternoon at Red Bull Arena.