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Taylor Twellman says Red Bulls might be better sans Rafa

New York Red Bulls Media Day

HARRISON, NJ - MARCH 22: Rafa Marquez #4 of the New York Red Bulls has looks on during a training session at Red Bull Arena on March 22, 2012 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)

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Ears surely perked up among Red Bulls fans last night as ESPN’s Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman talked up the Rafa Marquez conundrum.

The RMC in question is this: Assuming the pricey center back / midfielder is healthy for the playoff stretch – and that’s no cinch, considering the Mexican international’s increasingly brittle state – should manager Hans Backe put him on the field? Especially when the absolutely scrumptious lineup choices around him?

(MORE: a Red Bulls roster chalk full of awesome)

During last night’s broadcast of the Red Bulls-Tottenham friendly, Healey and Twellman noted a recent, successful Red Bulls’ run with Marquez stuck on the sidelines, apparently injured. Twellman’s stance is clear – and I couldn’t agree more.

Said Twellman: “I think that stretch has planted that seed in Hans Backe and his staff that even if Rafa Marquez is healthy, do you necessarily want to change things up in the back? New York has not looked like the same team in the back when Rafa Marquez is playing center back.

“If you’re going make moves like [Sebastien] Le Toux, Tim Cahill, go get these players and make a run at MLS CUP, then you have to have the audacity to say, ‘I don’t have to play Rafa Marquez if he doesn’t fit into our system right now.’ ”

Said Healey: “But can you leave someone earning the money that Rafa Marquez is on the bench for very long if he’s fully fit?”

Twellman: “If it means my team has the best chance of winning, the answer is yes. No question.”

So, that answer your question?