Marquez May Join Mexico In Ohio

Rafael Marquez may not leave Barcelona until the end of the week despite being unable to play in the club's next league match due to suspension.
Barcelona’s Rafael Marquez was sent off in last week’s league match and will not be able to play in Barca's next match against Sporting Gijon.

But that does not mean he is free to join up with the Mexican national team ahead of Wednesday's World Cup qualifying match against the United States in Columbus, Ohio. Barcelona may call upon Marquez for a cup match on Thursday.

“With regards to Rafael Marquez, we have asked Barcelona for permission to let him join us a few days early,” Mexican Football Federation executive Guillermo Cantu said at a press conference on Wednesday.

However, Cantu said Barcelona informed the FMF that the club has a Copa del Rey match on Thursday against Mallorca.

"He has a chance of playing,” Cantu said. “Because of that, it is possible that he would travel to Columbus directly for the match on Sunday.”

Marquez calmed fears over his possible absence from Mexico’s qualifying match against the United States by playing in Barcelona’s game against Racing Santander on Sunday. However, he picked up a red card and will be unable to play against Sporting Gijon due to a suspension.

Aside from Giovani Dos Santos, who arrived in Mexico City on Wednesday, the remaining European-based contingent includes Omar Bravo (Deportivo la Coruña), Nery Castillo (Shakhtar Donetsk), Guillermo Franco (Villarreal), Ricardo Osorio (Stuttgart) and Carlos Salcido (PSV Eindhoven). The group would likely join El Tri in the United States as was originally planned, officials said.