The New York Red Bulls have denied reports that midfielder Rafa Márquez is training with Mexican Primera División club Atlas.
Recent reports linked the Mexican international with a training stint in his home country with his first pro club, but a Red Bulls spokesperson said Márquez is not training and has not trained with Atlas, and that he will report to Red Bulls training next month as scheduled.
[inline_node:326838]Amid news that fellow Designated Player Thierry Henry has spent the last week at his old English Premier League club Arsenal getting ready for the season and that defensive midfielder Carl Robinson was also in England training, news of Márquez training with Atlas would not have been surprising.
The midfielder/defender started his professional career with the Rojinegros, ending his three years with the club after French club Monaco purchased him in 1999. He then inked a move to La Liga side Barcelona in 2003 before signing with the Red Bulls in August.
New York open their preseason training, ironically, in Mexico and will schedule at least three games during the tour. The team will then fly to Arizona for another extended stay to play several more games. The Red Bulls might also set up shop in Florida to close out their preseason training.
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer.