Mexico Captain Marquez Apologizes For His "Error"

Rafael Marquez said he made a mistake by kicking American goalkeeper Tim Howard, which led to a red card in Mexico's loss to the U.S.
After not having spoken to the press upon his arrival in the United States, Mexico captain Rafael Marquez sought out the media in a press conference after El Tricolor's 2-0 loss to the U.S.

Marquez was sent off in the 65th minute for a vicious challenge on U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, which left Mexico the task of trying to overcome a deficit with 10 men.

"My intentions to be here in this press conference is to ask for public forgiveness," Marquez said. "I've already asked the same from my teammates, the coaching staff and the federation and now I want to apologize publicly to my fans, my country and the media for my conduct... I made an error and threw away all the hard work we had put in all week."

The red card was the latest in a history of ejections for Marquez. In the 2002 World Cup, Marquez was shown red after a horrid assault on U.S. midfielder Cobi Jones. Marquez also was sent off in the 2005 Confederations Cup semifinal match against Argentina.

"It always happens here with the national team," Marquez said. "My desire always is to win and perhaps when we don't, I don't know what to do and that is what causes me to do this."

Until that point, Marquez had done well to patrol the Mexican defense. Aside from the United States' first goal, a 43rd-minute strike from Michael Bradley off a corner kick, and a scattered few chances, Marquez had done well to cover for a shaky Aaron Galindo and to set the tone for Mexico in defense.

After Mexico was left with 10 men, the U.S. tried to control the match having the advantage of personnel. Mexico, though, pushed forward in search of an equalizer.

It was the United States, though, who nabbed the game's final goal. Again, it was Bradley who did the damage as he fired a shot from distance that appeared to fool Mexico's Oswaldo Sanchez. The shot went right through a giant gap in Mexico's defense, one that may have been filled by Marquez.

Mexico must now make do without Marquez for the next World Cup qualifying match, a March 28 home match against Costa Rica. When he does return, Marquez said he will try and be on his best behavior.

"I will put forth my best desire to try and control my intense desire I have to win and the type of desperation I feel," Marquez said.