Márquez vs. USA: Memorable moments for US fans
NEW YORK — Since Rafael Márquez debuted for the Mexican National Team
on Feb. 5, 1997, the USA and Mexico have played 21 matches in what is one of
the most classic and passionate rivalries in all of international soccer.
For as much as Márquez may be identified by US fans as one of
the El Tri players they have loved to hate over the years, he has actually missed more USA-Mexico matches than he has
played. In fact, he has featured only nine times (nearly all as
captain) against the US in a career that spans over a decade in
Mexico green. However, only twice did Mexico win in those nine games and both came in Mexico City.
Those nine games have created some indelible memories for US fans.
RED CARDS: The flying Márquez head butt on Cobi Jones in the US' round of 16 victory at the 2002 FIFA World Cup is to this day considered the icing on the cake. The defender followed that up nearly seven years
later with a 65th-minute ejection in 2010 World Cup
Qualifying loss in Columbus. This time the crime was kicking US goalkeeper Tim Howard.
DEBUT VS USA: His first match against the Americans came in the
semifinals of the 1999 Confederations Cup in Mexico City. He played the entire
match as Mexico overcame the USA with a Cuauhtémoc Blanco golden goal on their
path to Confederations Cup glory.
GOLD CUP FINAL: The only time Márquez represented Mexico
against the US in the final of an official competition came in the 2007
CONCACAF Gold Cup. He captained the team that lost to the Benny Feilhaber
wonder-goal at Soldier Field in Chicago.
CONTEMPT FOR COLUMBUS: Visiting the Crew will not bring back
the greatest memories for Márquez. He has played at Crew Stadium on three
occasions for World Cup qualifiers—all three Mexico losses.
NO LUCK ON US SOIL: As accomplished as he has been in European club football, Márquez has never beaten the US north of the border. In addition to the three World Cup qualifying losses and the '07 Gold Cup final loss, he has played two other matches here, wearing the captain's armband for both. A 2008 friendly in Houston ended in 2-2, and the US kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 win
at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., in 2009.