There have been any number of worthy villains in the bitter border war that is (and long has been) the United States vs. Mexico. But can’t we all agree that wearing the proverbial captain’s armband on some fictional team of Best XI villains for U.S. Soccer supporters would be none other than Rafa Marquez?
(Perhaps Alexi Lalas would disagree, he of the “full assault on my manhood” infamy, as delivered by the well-aimed foot of Ramon Ramirez … but let’s not get sidetracked.)
Marquez could soon be reunited with MLS clubs – although not as a member of the one of the league’s 19 teams. Mercy me, isn’t that a relief!
Marquez, 34, now makes his bank deposits from Leon in Liga MX. And the longtime Mexican international, who more or less stole money from the New York Red Bull for three seasons (OK, slight exaggeration), just helped Leon capture Mexico’s Apertura title.
Leon’s 3-1 victory Sunday night over Club America finished off the two-legged series (5-1 aggregate score) to claim the Liga MX Apertura. America was the bigger dog in that fight; the upset gave Leon its first title since 1992.
It also put Leon into the 2014-15 Champions League, which means there is a chance Leon could end up in a group alongside one of the MLS clubs, or perhaps even two of them.
So far, Sporting KC, the New York Red Bulls, the Portland Timbers and D.C. United have qualified for next year’s field. One more potential MLS team could come out of Canada.
The updated field for next year’s Champions League in this region is here.