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Red Bulls' Rafael Marquez sees suspension grow

November 3, 2011 |  4:54 pm

The MLS has increased the penalty on New York Red Bulls defender Rafael Marquez for his role in igniting a mini-brawl at the end of Sunday's playoff loss to the Galaxy in Harrison, N.J.

Marquez, who was red-carded Sunday, leaving him sidelined for Thursday's second-leg playoff game at the Home Depot Center, saw his suspension grow by two games. He was also fined $2,000. If New York advances to the conference championship game with a win Thursday, Marquez will have to sit that one out as well as the Nov. 20 MLS Cup should the Red Bulls qualify. If the Red Bulls season ends Thursday Marquez will sit out the first two games next season.

The Galaxy 's Adam Cristman and Red Bulls midfielder Teemu Tainio were also fined undisclosed amounts for their role in the incidents. They were not suspended.

When the final whistle sounded  ending Sunday's match, a frustrated Marquez threw the ball at the Galaxy's Landon Donovan. In response Cristman shoved Marquez, who retaliated by trying to head-butt and punch Cristman. Galaxy midfielder Juninho then joined the fray with both Marquez and Juninho earning red cards. Juninho will face no additional penalty.

“After thorough examination of the incident that followed the Oct. 30 game between the New York Red Bulls and the LA Galaxy, the Disciplinary Committee strongly believed Rafa Márquez must be punished above the red card he was issued for throwing the ball after the final whistle because of the following actions: attempting to head butt Adam Cristman, attempting to punch Adam Cristman; striking Cristman, and simulating that he had been struck in the face,” said MLS Executive Vice President Nelson Rodriguez, who oversees the disciplinary committee.

Marquez, a former captain of the Mexican national team, was suspended for a crucial game by his own coach, Hans Backe, in September for publicly criticizing teammates.


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-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: New York Red Bulls defender Rafael Marquez. Credit: Mike Stobe / Getty Images