Rafa Marquez, Worst Metro Ever
December 14, 2012
Is Rafa Marquez the Worst Metro Ever? Yes! Sorry for the spoiler.
Alright, fine, let's explain our reasoning.
Everyone has their own definition of "worst". For example, even with Rafa's failings, as a soccer player he was not as terrible as such luminaries as Edmundo Rodriguez, Damian Silvera, Nidal Baba, Kerry Zavagnin, Kevin Knight, Julian Gomez, Martin Klinger, Birahim Diop, Byron Alvarez, Peter Canero, or Khano Smith. But neither of them, nor any of the players that we'll mention below, were a perfect combination of utter horror, on and off the field, that was Rafa.
Let's run through the gamut. The terrible players from the early years, the likes of the first nine players mentioned above, didn't exactly come with high expectations or huge salaries. And when they didn't perform, they were quickly jettisoned, so the impact felt was minimal.
Ruben Dario Hernandez, Joao Luiz, Branco, and Marcelo Vega all came with huge expectations and large price tags. Yet the first two were soon dropped, and the latter only stayed a season. Lothar Matthaus is an interesting case, for the opportunity cost to acquire him was huge, as was the salary and expectations. And he did take that sojourn to St. Tropez... but when all is said and done, his play on the field was above average.
One can make a case for Steve Shak. The #1 overall pick was taken above many great players, and failed miserably. However, his stay was mercifully shortened after a year and a half.
Jamie Moreno jumps out, especially because we don't like to call him a Metro. (Mamadou Diallo as well, but at least he performed during his short time here.) Yet Moreno was gone after one injury-riddled year.
Sergio Galvan Ray seems to fit the bill: Metro paid a huge transfer fee, and his salary tied down the cap even after he departed. He was beyond terrible in his first year... but his career is somewhat salvaged by his second.
Alexi Lalas, during his tenure as GM, tended to build up lesser players, raising expectations for the likes of Peter Canero and Taylor Graham. Yet the former was gone after a year (although his price tag makes him a definite candidate for the title), and the latter didn't play much in the long run.
Markus Schopp came with a big salary and expectations, and was pretty terrible. Jettisoned after a year and a half. Claudio Reyna? We have to mention him, for his status as DP hurt Metro more than his play on the field... when he was healthy, which was almost never. But he did walk away when needed...
Ah, Juan Carlos Osorio's gang! Jorge Rojas, Juan Pietravallo, Oscar Echeverry, Gabriel Cichero, Khano Smith, Leo Krupnik... All were beyond terrible, but only the first two stayed beyond the first season. And their guaranteed contracts did tie down the cap. So two worthy candidates there. Oh, and who can forget Carlos Johnson and Alberto Pacheco? Ugh, what crap Osorio brought to this team!
Brian Nielsen, who can forget Brian Nielsen! Huge expectations, big salary, always injured, and indifferent when not. And he tied down a roster spot for a whole season (just like Marcelo Balboa... how can we forget Marcelo Balboa?) And this year, we had Jhonny Arteaga, whose incompetence on the field harkened back to the early years... but the cost was low.
And now Rafa. Expensive? Beyond, with a huge opportunity cost. Huge expectations? Hell, yes, this was a Barcelona player, a Mexican national captain, a Champions League winner. Terrible on the field? Absolutely! For the few good moments he provided, we can count many more horrible ones. In fact, you can hold him partially responsible for each one of Metro's last three playoff defeats. Long stay? Two and a half years! Two and a half long, long years...
Oh, and he was a terrible teammate. Just ask Tim Ream.
Congrats, Rafa. Worst Metro Ever. You earned it.