The New York Red Bulls have announced that Designated Player Rafa Márquez will train with Mexican First Division club Atlas for a week beginning Monday.
The Mexican international star requested to work out with Atlas prior to the start of New York’s preseason schedule, which will begin with a trip to Mexico on an undetermined date.
Márquez will join the Red Bulls once they arrive in Mexico.
“Rafa expressed his desire to our head coach Hans Backe to train with Atlas in Mexico,” RBNY general manager Erik Solér said in a statement. “While we are finalizing dates and places where we will be doing the different parts of our 2011 preseason, and as we do not have a finalized calendar, we support Rafa’s desire to start preparing in anticipation of this season.
“We expect Márquez to reintegrate with the team as soon as we have the exact date of our arrival in Mexico for the first part of the preseason.”
Márquez appeared in 10 regular-season games and both postseason matches for the Red Bulls after joining the club last summer. He, like fellow Designated Player Thierry Henry, will go through his first MLS preseason experience this year as he enters his first full season with the club.
Márquez made his professional debut at 17 years old with Atlas in 1996, and appeared in 77 matches for the club before leaving in 1999.