Rafael Marquez

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Marquez trains for national team with no logos on jersey

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MEXICO CITY (AP) Mexican defender Rafael Marquez trained with Mexico ahead of the World Cup wearing a logo-free jersey on Thursday.

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The U.S. Treasury Department named him last year on a sanctions list for alleged trafficking ties.

During Thursday’s practice, other players wore black shirts with the logos of three sponsors on the chest. Marquez’s was blank.

Marquez was not made available to the media.

The Mexican Soccer Federation said in a statement that him training without a logo was a decision taken to avoid “prejudicing or incurring in actions that could harm” Marquez or the federation.

Last August, Marquez was among 22 people sanctioned by the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. He was accused of acting as a frontman for the Raul Flores Hernandez drug trafficking organization.

Marquez has denied wrongdoing and vowed to clear his name. His inclusion in the final squad for Russia has been in doubt over the allegations.

Mexico star Marquez back at Atlas after US drug sanctions

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MEXICO CITY (AP) Mexican soccer star Rafael Marquez is back with his club more than a month after the U.S. Treasury Department named him on a sanctions list for alleged drug trafficking ties.

Atlas said Monday that the 38-year-old defender is practicing with the team again.

In August, Marquez was among 22 people sanctioned by the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. He was accused of acting as a frontman for the Raul Flores Hernandez drug trafficking organization.

Marquez has denied any wrongdoing and said he will work to clear his name. He is not known to face any criminal charges in the United States or Mexico.

Atlas says Marquez will continue his legal fight while at the team.

Marquez has played internationally with AS Monaco, Barcelona and the New York Red Bulls.

Atlas hopes Marquez can ‘rejoin team’ after US allegations

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MEXICO CITY (AP) Mexico’s national soccer team and club Atlas have issued cautious statements backing embattled star Rafael Marquez but also apparently distancing themselves somewhat after he was among 22 people sanctioned by the U.S. government for alleged drug trafficking ties.

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Atlas calls Marquez an “exemplary” player and wishes him well. It says it hopes for “a resolution that allows our captain to rejoin the team,” but does not give further details.

Marquez did not practice with the club for a second straight day Thursday.

The national team said Marquez has represented “El Tri” in a dignified fashion for two decades and it trusts “he will clear up his situation with authorities.”

The 38-year-old is a former defender for Barcelona and New York Red Bulls. On Wednesday he denied having any drug ties.

Mexico’s Rafa Marquez scores late winner in Copa win over Uruguay (video)

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The last time someone had scored a goal against Mexico, the date was Oct. 10, 2015 and said goal proved futile for Bobby Wood and the rest of the U.S. national team in their 3-2 CONCACAF Cup defeat.

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El Tri entered Sunday’s 2016 Copa America Centenario opener against (a Luis Suarez-less) Uruguay having not conceded a goal in 730 minutes of play (that’s eight full games, plus 10 minutes). At the final whistle inside the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., Juan Carlo Osorio’s side had finally conceded a goal but were 3-1 victors over the 15-time Copa America winners, their streak extended to 804 minutes (six minutes shy of nine full games) before it was broken by a late equalizer.

Mexico got on the board early, four minutes into the game, when Alvaro Pereira got onto the end of Andres Guardado’s cross and unknowingly headed the ball into his own net, scoring the fastest own goal ever score in the 100-year history over Copa America.

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21 minutes later, Guardado was perhaps lucky to not be sent off for a wild, sliding tackle that took out the legs of Carlos Sanchez (below video). No such luck for Uruguay’s Matias Vecino, who was shown his second yellow card of the game in the 45th minute. Down a goal, and now down to 10 men.

Uruguay had a brilliant chance for an equalizer that came and went in the 58th minute, when a turnover inside Mexico’s defensive half of the field launched a quick counter-attack the other way. Diego Rolan was the man who eventually fired the shot, but his left-footed strike bounced wide of Alfredo Talavera’s right-hand post.

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It was Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin who bagged the equalizer and broke Mexico’s streak. Coincidentally, the goal came off the restart after Guardado was shown a second yellow card and sent for an early shower.

Then, it was time for perhaps one of the last heroic moments of 37-year-old Rafa Marquez’s legendary career. It had to be Marquez. It just had to be. Hector Herrera added an insurance goal in the 90th minute, heading home from Raul Jimenez’s floated ball across the box.

When Group C play resumes on Thursday, Uruguay will face Venezuela at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Penn., with group-leading Mexico doing battle with Jamaica at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., later that evening..

20 years later, Rafa Marquez returns to Atlas to finish where he started

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Rafa Marquez is going home to Atlas, the club for which he made his professional debut nearly 20 years ago as a 17-year-old product of the club’s youth academy, the Guadalajara-based Liga MX club announced on Sunday.

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After a year-and-a-half tour in Italy with Serie A’s Hellas Verona, for whom he signed following a complete career renaissance at the 2014 World Cup, Marquez’s legendary career, which has seen him play for six clubs in five countries — winning two UEFA Champions League and four La Liga titles at Barcelona; one Ligue 1 title at Monaco; and a pair of half-season titles at Leon — is nearing the inevitable: the end.

At the 2014 World Cup, Marquez famously became the first player in history to captain his country at four different World Cups.

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Now back in Mexico, Marquez joins a struggling side which finished 16th of 18 teams in the just-completed Apertura season. Atlas, who finished in the bottom-third of the league in terms of goals conceded this fall, now find themselves in danger of being relegated with another poor showing in the upcoming Clausura.