Red Bulls release Marquez
Rafa Marquez's stint in the MLS is over, after it was revealed the New York Red Bulls released the defender.
The Mexican international was released by the Red Bulls on Thursday, putting an end to a tenure that was marked more by controversy and criticism than productivity on the field.
In a shade more than two seasons with the Red Bulls after joining the club as a designated player from Barcelona, Marquez appeared in 44 regular season games and six playoff matches. At a salary of US$4.6 million, he was MLS' second-highest paid player this past season behind team-mate Thierry Henry.
"This decision has been made in the best interests of both parties concerned," Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said in a statement.
"Rafa has accomplished a great deal during his career and is a top quality player. We want to thank him for his service to the Red Bulls and wish him the best of luck in the next stage of his career."
Sources told Goal.com earlier in the week that Marquez was in negotiations to sign with Liga MX side Leon on a two-year deal. One major hurdle in completing that deal was him being released from his contract obligations with the Red Bulls, something which is no longer an issue.