Rafa Marquez and Landon Donovan Are No Saints

After a tense and tightly contested first leg at Red Bull Arena between the two super powers of Major League Soccer, I can say without a doubt it was the most entertaining match that I have seen since the regular season of 2007 when David Beckham and Juan Pablo Angel had the nine goal barrage at Giants Stadium.

But as always the end of this fantastic match was taken down a dark road when Rafa Marquez in anger grabbed the match ball and threw it at Landon Donovan after Alex Prus ended the first leg. I saw it all in front of me and was amazed that Marquez took his frustrations out at the wrong time.

No matter how many rival matches he was involved with in Barcelona versus Real Madrid or playing for his country in Mexico versus USA, there are some things you don’t do regardless of how world class you are and sadly we as American soccer fans have seen many by the captain of Mexico.

We remember the round sixteen match-up in the 2002 World Cup in South Korea as the USA was leading two goals to nil, then out of nowhere Marquez went to challenge a ball and he rammed his head intentionally at Cobi Jones and got sent off.

The other incident was qualifying for the 2010 World Cup at Crew Stadium in early 2009 when he tried to get an equalizer past Tim Howard, but on the replay you saw him give the American keeper a karate kick to his left leg and was sent off.

His recent incident calling out Tim Ream to the New York media and this recent implosion has been added to his resume playing against the USA or in the American first division. Once again this is not about where Marquez comes from, but who he is and why he was sought after by the Red Bulls.

This is a world class player that has done so much for the clubs he played for before coming to MLS. It’s a real shame that he has to display another moment of immaturity on the field. Off the field he has asked the media not to approach him anymore once the news of him calling out Tim Ream was reported.

But this story is not just about the history of Marquez actions on and off the field; We can turn the finger and point it at American superstar Landon Donovan. While he is seen as the great hero of the USA Men’s National Team, he’s had his bad moments as well.

If you don’t remember when he came over on loan from Bayer Leverkusen to play for the original San Jose Earthquakes, there was a televised ESPN2 Sunday afternoon game at Spartan Stadium in 2003 where he showed some nastiness of his own against the MetroStars.

After he took down Amado Guevara from behind and was booked for it, Donovan’s next victim was keeper Jonny Walker. As soon as Walker grabbed the ball on a bounce, Donovan intentionally lifted his right elbow and struck Walker in his stomach that took him down. Sadly he wasn’t shown a second yellow by the referee.

So for Landon Donovan to comment on the actions of the Red Bulls, as reported by Brian Straus of The Sporting News, is hypocritical:

“They took some cheap shots at us (during the game). In all my years in this league I have not played against a cheaper team than that. We saw it a few weeks ago with (Thierry) Henry kneeing someone in the back. We’ve seen that stuff all year.”

Honestly Landon, you’re no saint either. Even when you equalized against the Red Bulls at the Home Depot Center earlier this season, you had to go into the face of Thierry Henry and tell him about it.

Sadly at the end of a fantastic match that was well played by both sides, you had stupidity on the pitch as well as off it. To me this means that we are going to have an awesome second leg in this Western Conference Semi-Final.

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10 Responses to Rafa Marquez and Landon Donovan Are No Saints

  1. AdamEdg says:

    There was also that time before the 2003 MLS All Star game against
    Chivas that Donovan flat out said that he hates Mexican teams. I
    don’t remember the quote, but it was pretty brutal. I think he was
    trying to play up the rivalry between the US and Mexico on the
    pitch, as was the league itself, but it came off as kind of

  2. broom_wagon says:

    Yeah, Donovan made a lottery or fast food restuarant commercial or
    something down there in Mexico, he might be better known down there
    than here though he’s finally fairly well known here. There’s also
    the tale of him, honestly, urinating on the Mexican field or
    something like that in the past, sort of classified as urban myth
    stuff but if you web search for it, you might find something about
    that. So, there certainly is a heated relationship on this.

  3. Broom_Wagon says:

    But let me add on, if LD is known in Mexico and has made
    commercials down there, they can’t dislike him too much.

  4. Jeromy says:

    I can say without a doubt it was the most entertaining match that I
    have seen since the regular season of 2007 when David Beckham and
    Juan Pablo Angel had the nine goal barrage at Giants Stadium.
    Really??? did you watch the last game of the season for Portland
    Timbers and DC United? no offense but the NY/LA game did not
    compare to that last 30minutes of the Portland/United game. Im a
    Die HARD Sounders Fan and still recgonize the best game of this
    season was the Timber/ United game, it was dare I say
    EPIC/Legendary! Just sayin.

  5. dan says:

    This is the most poorly written, one sided article EVER. You have
    4-5 examples of Marquez, one of them being at the age of 30+! Yet
    you throw only one example of a very young Donovan who was young
    and stupid. To call them both bad is just ridiculous. Donovan has
    not been a dirty player and was never known for that throughout his
    entire career, every body has a moment of young idiocy. But Marquez
    continues to show how poor of a person he is. The only thing you
    can ever blame Landon for is having a big mouth, that is all.

  6. Sam says:

    Super Powers? You are kidding me. How is NYRB a super power? What
    have they won, ever? They squeaked into the play-offs. I hope that
    was a typo.

  7. Sam says:

    Obviously, I didn’t bother to read past the first baffling

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