Check the punchable smile.

Rafa Marquez is officially a Red Bull today. Bully for them, I suppose, but trouble for the rest of the league. Major League Soccer's New York team is finally starting to act like a New York team. The collection of slightly-worn talent they have in Jersey is damn impressive all things considered.

If you already hated the Red Bulls (Hi, DC United fans!), nothing changes. The acquisition of Marquez might add a pebble to the mountain, but since you're already calling them "Energy Drink" or "Dead Bulls" or any number of other humorous insults, your life hardly changes. For some though, and particularly MLS fans either unattached to a natural Red Bull rival or simply ardently behind the USMNT, today will likely tip you over the edge. The hated Rafa Marquez, lining up for the New York Red Bulls. That's reason enough to throw out the mini-fridge you bought back in college.

And what if you're a USMNT supporter that also happen to be a Red Bull fan? I'm pretty damn sure you're conflicted, or have at least wrestled with the questions presented by Red Card Rafa lining up for your team. "Club v. Country" takes on a new meaning when your country's A1 villain signs on the dotted line for your club. If you're able to compartmentalize the two, or even get to a place where you put Rafa's misdeeds out of your mind, more power to you. I'm not sure I could do it.

Now that RBNY is throwing cash at big names, playing in a state-of-the-art venue that puts the rest of the league to shame, and has the national media's attention, they're clearly the Evil Empire of Major League Soccer. As close to being the Yankees of soccer as the rules allow, that's the Red Bulls. I might even draw a parallel between "Handball" Henry and Alex "Roids" Rodriquez. Or I could use Marquez in the same comparison, with Henry being a slightly less-despicable Yankee. New York, where teams we hate are made.

I'm laying it on pretty thick, but don't think the switch wasn't just flicked for some previously-ambivalent fans across the country. That's what signing a Mexican legend/villain will do in the nation of El Tri's most hated rivals. Sure, those US fans might be balanced out or overwhelmed by Mexico fans in the States, but the point stands. A lot more people hate the Red Bulls now.

But "Evil Empire" is already taken, and soccer needs to be unique. We can't borrow the name from the Yankees and slap it on the Red Bulls, they've yet to win one title. The Red Bulls need their own insidious moniker, one that sums up all of their recent flashy ways. This is MLS, land of the conservative payroll, and New York is rocking the boat something fierce. We need to label this menace.

Get at it, my brain is failing me at the moment, but I'll hopefully have something in the comments shortly.

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