Winners and losers:

Red Bulls release Rafa Marquez
Keith Hickey: Rafa Marquez's tenure in MLS was a huge success... for Mexico

View photo

Keith Hickey: Rafa Marquez's tenure in MLS was a huge success... for Mexico

The Rafa Marquez Era in Major League Soccer is over.

The Mexican international was released by the New York Red Bulls Thursday, putting an end to a tenure that was marked more by controversy and criticism than productivity on the field. In a shade more than two seasons with the Red Bulls after joining the club as a Designated Player from FC Barcelona, Marquez appeared in 44 regular season games and six playoff matches. At a salary of $4.6 million, he was MLS' second-highest paid player this past season behind teammate Thierry Henry.

“This decision has been made in the best interests of both parties concerned,” Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said in a team statement. “Rafa has accomplished a great deal during his career and is a top quality player. We want to thank him for his service to the Red Bulls and wish him the best of luck in the next stage of his career.”

Sources told earlier in the week that Marquez was in negotiations to sign with Liga MX side Leon on a two-year deal. One major hurdle in completing that deal was him being released from his contract obligations with the Red Bulls, something which is no longer an issue.

Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter

Does this article fire you up? Comment below and your opinion could be featured in the Boost Mobile Hot Topics published ever Thursday. Click here for more details.

Win cash prizes, pick a fantasy roster for just one day, join in minutes!

Learn how to play

Contest Entries Entry Fee Prizes Starts (EDT)
NFL $350K Baller [$50K to 1st] 24246/39773 $10 $350000 Today 1:00 PM Enter
NFL $40K Tournament [Single Entry] 6535/9091 $5 $40000 Today 1:00 PM Enter
NFL $25K Tournament [Single Entry] 1663/2841 $10 $25000 Today 1:00 PM Enter
View Comments (1)