In our second week of our player analysis of the Philadelphia Union, we continue going down the defensive line as we take a look at the young and impressive centerback Richie Marquez.
Marquez was first selected by the Union in the 2014 SuperDraft as the 44th pick. Though he saw no MLS play in 2014 Marquez played an important role in Harrisburg for the USL league. In fact, it wasn’t until this season that Marquez played in a Philadelphia uniform. Marquez’s debut came after defensive midfielder, Michael Lahoud, came out with an injury in the first six minutes of a match against Toronto on May 2. Since then, Marquez has played an integral role for the team.
Marquez played in 21 games while starting 22. He collected 1854 minutes of action and saw both a yellow and red card in his debut season.
While still at the young age of 23, Marquez has shown much potential. His ability to get back on defense, his ball clearing strength, and his key completions to get out of difficult situations have proven this. However, the Union’s defense continuously fell apart all season long – and lack of experience must be considered as part of the problem.
In consideration for team depth, Marquez is a good centerback but still ranks behind Maurice Edu and Steven Vitoria (who did not have as many minutes as Marquez). However, the problem remains whether or not the defensive line is skillful enough to be a success. And I’m sure that the Union staff is focused on rebuilding the back line after it’s abysmal display during the season.
Marquez had his ups-and-downs throughout the season (like many of the back four) while playing for the blue and gold: falling victim to poor placement defensively allowing faster players through and unfortunately conceiving an own-goal back in October. However, Marquez is still a player of untapped potential who can definitely hold a starting position in the future, but in order to see improvement on this team, changes will have to be made – whether that means benching him, or not.
Check back next week to read up on captain Maurice Edu