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Chad Marshall likely to start Crew’s playoff opener

Marshall (Reuters)

As their defense of the MLS Cup hits the postseason, Columbus Crew and head coach Robert Warzycha are still waiting on the injury status of Chad Marshall. The Crew's defender of the year has been missing in action since spraining his left knee in practice on September 15. While there was no reason to rush him back from the injury as Columbus secured their second consecutive Supporters' Shield, it looks like he will be ready to make his first start since the injury on Saturday night.

"He seems fine. It's a question of whether he is fit for 90 minutes," coach Warzycha told the Columbus Dispatch. "We'll talk tomorrow and see how he feels after the flight tonight. If he says he is ready to go he will go. We will listen to him."

If Marshall starts, there's plenty of reason to worry about his game fitness, and against a Real Salt Lake attack that boasts a speedy Robbie Findley and Yura Movsisyan, Columbus will need to be at their best at the back. The Crew eased their way into the playoffs, winning just one of their final four games, and will be out for revenge after losing to RSL 4-1 at Rio Tinto earlier this season.

Think Marshall will start Saturday? If he doesn't, who gets the call in his place?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I agree with that statement. In order for RSL to pull off the upset, they need at least a two goal lead going into the second leg. Obviously I’m an RSL fan…I’m looking forward to the game!

    The Crew should be the favorites here, but I’m not sure how sound Marshall’s fitness is. Additionally, it may not be so easy for the Crew to flip the switch and now play an intense game…

  2. Brian, While I don’t completely disagree with your view, I think the prior game will be a big incentive for the Crew to play well and put that ghost to sleep. Also, you have to realize that the Crew have not been playing meaningful games. Hopefully they will buckle down and play like they are capable of. If RSL do NOT win game 1 by at lest 2 goals they’ll be toast. Go CREW!!

  3. With or without Marshall the Crew are in serious troublee if their recent form is any indication as to how they will play. This coming from a Crew fan.

    The one thing that gives me hope is that they havent given up more than one goal in an MLS game and lost since June…Thats a pretty promising stat for a tie in RSL, which is all we need.

  4. Brian, while your argument is sound, I disagree. If Marshall starts they will be returning there entire starting squad from the playoffs last year with the exception CAM (Brad Evans), that’s a lot of experience which RSL doesn’t really have. But RSL hounded Columbus in Utah earlier in the season. All that said I think it will be a good, hard fought game BUT GO CREW!

  5. I am predicting RSL comes away with the upset over Columbus. Despite their ineptitude on the road, RSL has proven they can be deadly in Rio Tinto. With the current form of the two teams, (and a nothing to lose mentality for RSL), I see RSL coming away with a 2 or 3 goal victory in Utah. That will be too much to overcome on the second leg…

  6. I have FIFA 10 for my iPhone, and Chad Marshall is really good in the game.

    US defense ratings:

    Onyewu 84
    Bocanegra 80
    Marshall 77
    Spector 72
    DeMerit 71
    Cherundolo 70
    Hejduk 69
    Bornstein 67
    Pearce 67

    Other ratings of note:

    Howard 77
    Donovan 80
    Dempsey 79
    Altidore 78
    Bradley 77
    Davies 75
    Edu 73
    Clark 72
    Torres 71
    Holden 69
    Feilhaber 68

    Onyewu and Bocanegra are the US’s best players in the iPhone version–better than Howard, Donovan, or Dempsey!

  7. a brunner-o’rourke pairing seems best if chad can’t rock this…however i think for some reason he will be ready to show up come gametime

  8. The Crew desperately need Marshall. Not only to solidify the defense – which has played pretty well in his absence – but to give the club a decent threat on set-pieces. The team’s productivity on corners has been all but nonexistent since Marshall’s injury.


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