Set Pieces: Márquez Signs with NY

A round-up of Union, MLS and other soccer news

Designated Players have entered MLS in droves recently, but the Red Bulls have undoubtedly made the biggest splash, signing former Barcelona star and Mexican National Team Captain Rafa Márquez  after Thierry Henry’s debut in league action for the club.

Question is, will New York fans put club over country after infamous incidents involving Tim Howard and Cobi Jones?

While there were likely a number of reasons that led MLS to expand to three DPs, PhillySoccerNews.com has a theory about what may have pushed Commissioner Don Garber over the edge.

Garber will have plenty of time to see how the decision plays out. Most moves made by the man at the helm of a burgeoning, young league have worked out well, and if it was up to him, the 20th team in MLS would be yet another I-95 rival for the Union.

 Sebastien Le Toux’s tally against New England was a bending
beauty, but will it end up being the goal of the year in MLS?
 

"A little worrisome" is the way Alejandro Moreno describes the Union's recent tendency to take an early lead only to later surrender it.

Three points would clearly have helped Philadelphia's bid to climb up the standings, but Soccer by Ives thinks the club still has a shot to make a playoff push. 

Union Captain Danny Califf agrees, saying he believes the club has "shed the expansion label" and is confident they can do something they haven't done yet this year; go on a winning streak in league play.

Regardless of the outcome of the club’s inaugural season, MLSsoccer.com's Revolution beat writer thinks the Union
are on the right track as an organization
following a visit to PPL Park.

The Goalkeeper blog takes a look back at a draw that easily could have been a win.

Rookie Danny Mwanga’s bid for Rookie of the Year may have
gotten a little easier, with San Jose’s Ike Opara going down with a broken
foot
.

While Mwanga is focusing on his development more than
anything, he can’t help but think ahead and dream of playing for the U.S.
National Team
one day.

If he progresses fast enough to earn consideration in 2014,
there may an opportunity to play alongside one of the all-time national team
greats, Landon Donovan, the LA Galaxy star who scored
 career goal number 100 on Sunday.

Mwanga will be 22 year old when the 2014 World Cup starts in
Brazil, which would put him right in the middle of a powerful U.S. youth movement according
to Cup vet Herculez Gomez.

One player who won’t be joining the 2014 U.S. side is
Guiseppe Rosse, but it doesn’t appear as though the striker’s omission from
Italy’s World Cup roster is deterring one of the world’s top clubs from
pursuing him
.

Enjoying the Union’s first season in MLS and recent home
matches at PPL Park? Good, because there may be more of both as early as next season.