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November 8, 2012
''I don't think I had a good season'

By Kristian R. Dyer Contributing Editor

HARRISON, N.J. – The future of many of the Red Bulls players is unclear but for the much maligned Rafa Marquez, he clearly wants to be back and call New York his home next season. Marquez addressed his future with the club following a 1-0 loss to D.C. United in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

With another year in New York ended with post-season despair, the attention turns to Marquez and if he will return to the club after playing just 15 regular season games in 2012. Marquez was sent off in the 75th minute for his second yellow card of the match, a crucial moment for the Red Bulls, who were up a man the previous four minutes after United goalkeeper Bill Hamid was sent off for a straight red card.

Marquez has one more year on his contract and Thursday night’s loss left him feeling empty. He spoke in English with the media following the match, turning to a translator only once. It was the first time since last season that Marquez has not spoken exclusively through a translator when addressing the media.

“It’s very bad and I feel sad about that. Myself, I don’t think I had a good season,” Marquez said. “Tonight, maybe we do a good performance; we had a lot of chances.”

A constant rumor has popped up that Marquez potentially is heading to Mexico in the off-season to play on loan with Atlas. It would be a return to the club where he got his professional start as Marquez burst onto Mexican soccer scene with Atlas, where he played from 1996-1999 and made 77 appearances.

Nothing seems definite yet.

“We don’t know yet, we don’t have news about that. I was focusing on the last few games. Right now, we will see,” Marquez said. “We don’t have any contact with Atlas but I want to try and do something these few months off. We will see.”

The reason for a loan seems to be born out a desire by Marquez to better himself after what was a subpar 2012 campaign in New York.

“Right now, I think to do something these few months off with another club, maybe to be better and start better the next season,” he said. “I know it’s the last season for me here and I want to do my best next season; maybe my last opportunity to be champions in MLS.”

Marquez isn’t the only one with an uncertain future in New York. Coach Hans Backe, who has guided the team the past three seasons is reportedly on his way out. There was a hint of an endorsement from Marquez for the only coach he’s known since his arrival in New York in the summer of 2010.

“I don’t know, it’s not my decision. Hans is a good coach but I think it’s the last year of the contract with him here, so I don’t know what’s going to happen with him,” Marquez said. “I don’t know.”

He’s been a whipping boy of the fan base and Thursday night’s red card likely won’t help matters but Marquez was very open about his desire to want to finish next year on a high note with the Red Bulls.

“Of course, I want to try and be a champion, it is my last year. I want to be a champion here in MLS, we have everything but we need to work,” Marquez said. “Myself, I want to try and be in good shape.”

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