November 12, 2012
MY TWO CENTS
Either Rafa goes or I go
Will Smith, a long-time Red Bulls fan, lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.
"The opinions reflected in the My Two Cents columns do not express the views of the editors or management of BigAppleSoccer. com"
By Will Smith
Special to BigAppleSoccer.com Editor
Everyone has a breaking point and I’ve reached mine.
As a faithful Metro/RBNY supporter since before they played their first ever match (a 2-1 loss to the Galaxy in LA in 1996, by the way), I can honestly say that I have endured many annoyances over the years that have managed to turn other fans away. In case you were wondering, some of those annoyances are:
1) The Caricola own goal at the 1996 home opener
2) A soul-crushing 4-0 loss to the Galaxy at home later than same year in front of 50,000 fans
3) Rob Johnson’s season ending tackle in the box against D.C. at RFK
4) The Carlo Alberto Parreira – Joao Luiz – Guido – Branco era of red cards and “possession football”
5) The Alfonso Mondelo termination with one game left to the season in 1998
6) The trading of Giovanni Savarese
7) The Bora Milutinoviæ-inspired failures of 1999
8) The Octavio Zambrano era of diminishing returns
9) The “Box Midfield Mania” and playoff failures of Bob “The Sweatsuit” Bradley
10) The Red Bull Rebranding
11) The puzzling dismissal of Bruce Arena
12) The incompetence of the Mo Johnston-Alexi Lalas era
13) The misery wrought on us by Juan Carlos Osorio and his notebook
14) The false hope brought on by big name signings
15) Games at cavernous Giants stadium
16) To many tolls en route from Brooklyn to, first Giants Stadium and then, Red Bull Arena
17) Rising gas prices that have made the trip to New Jersey costly and miserable
18) Horrible traffic leaving Red Bull Arena
19) Slow concession services courtesy of Delaware North
20) The Snow Job game and subsequent goal encroachment fiasco
To say that Metro/Red Bull history is a disappointment is an understatement. In fact, to say that the team’s history is a disaster would be an understatement. This has, regardless of ownership, a poorly run franchise that has failed to reach out to the community, build as big a fan base as hoped for or win a championship. Despite that, I have remained a fan. Now, something far greater threatens my loyalty to the team; the continued presence of Rafa Marquez on the roster.
Despite being a rival of the U.S. Men’s National Team by virtue of his years as captain of the Mexican National Team, most RBNY fans were willing to at least give Marquez the benefit of the doubt upon arrival. After a decent start in mid-2010, Rafa’s poor playoff performance at home in 2012 against San Jose helped to end what had been, up to that point, a promising season for the team. Since that fateful evening, Rafa has managed to:
1) Missed more games due to injury and suspension than he’s played
2) Scored precisely one goal
3) Thrown teammates Tim Ream and Roy Miller under the proverbial bus with his criticism
4) Been red-carded from the final play-off game two years running
5) Diminished greatly as a player, particularly in terms of his defense
In short, Rafa brings nothing positive to the team on or off the field. His mere presence in and around the organization is a black cloud, albeit one that costs the team several million dollars yearly. He is without a position and without support of the fan base. He has one year remaining on his contract and, in my opinion, that’s one year too many.
I love soccer. However, I’m not going to pay to watch a player who sucks resources from the team and contributes nothing on or off the field. I can go see the Cosmos. Or the Brooklyn Knights. Or the Long Island Rough Riders. Or the Brooklyn Italians. I can go see all of them, but I’m not going to pay to go see Rafa anymore. Either he goes or I go.
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