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Rafa Marquez signs with Club Leon

Rafa Marquez signs with Club Leon

Jeff Zelevansky

The Mexican defender reached a deal with the Liga MX club after parting ways with the New York Red Bulls earlier in the day.

Rafa Marquez is back home.

Hours after being released by the New York Red Bulls, the Mexican defender signed a two-year deal with Liga MX side Club Leon on Thursday morning.

Goal.com reported earlier this week that Marquez was in Mexico City to finalize the deal, but the one major hurdle in completing the move sooner was his contract obligations with the Red Bulls.

"I'm sure that our fans will give Leon's newest player, Rafael Marquez, the best welcome," Leon president Jesus Martinez wrote on Twitter.

Marquez, who was one of the Red Bulls' three Designated Players, had been a disappointment since signing with the MLS team from Barcelona in 2010. He played just 35 of a possible 73 games while earning $4.6 million, the second-highest salary in MLS.

The Red Bulls' new sporting director Andy Roxburgh said it was a mutual decision to part ways with Marquez.

“This decision has been made in the best interests of both parties concerned,” Roxburgh said. “Rafa has accomplished a great deal during his career and is a top quality player. We want to thank him for his service to the Red Bulls and wish him the best of luck in the next stage of his career.”

Marquez began his pro career in Mexico with Club Atlas before continuing his career in Europe with Monaco and Barcelona. He also has 106 caps with the Mexican national team.

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