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Marshall named 2014 MLS Defender of the Year


Photo by John Geliebter/USA Today Sports



Chad Marshall is set to add yet another MLS Defender of the Year award to his burgeoning trophy cabinet.

MLS announced Tuesday that the Seattle Sounders defender had been named MLS Defender of the Year for the third time, more than any other defender in league history.

The 30-year-old centerback, who previously won the award in 2008 and 2009, narrowly beat out second-place finisher Bobby Boswell, while Omar Gonzalez and Michael Parkhurst finished in third and fourth place, respectively, for this year’s award.

Marshall anchored a Seattle Sounders backline on the way to claiming the Supporters’ Shield, the first in club history. The 30 year-old-defender, who was traded to the Sounders by the Columbus Crew following the 2013 season, scored a goal and provided three assists in 31 starts for the Sounders this season.


What do you think of Marshall’s 2014 season? Who would you have voted for in the race for MLS Defender of the Year?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I couldn’t disagree more. No doubt a very competent defender, but his strength is in the air both offensively and defensively. He is slow and has become slower since his string of injuries. He is the consummate professional and a genuinely good dude, but I saw him WAY too often completely lose track of a cutting forward or try to jump a passing lane and get burned while playing his final years in Columbus. He has clearly made an improvement on the on the Seattle back line but his best defensive play in Columbus was to leave.

  2. He had a good season, but he played on a team whose goal was to score first, defend second. He also had players to put the ball in the back of the net. So if he gave up goals, and they did, he had players to bail him out up front.

    Compare that to Bobby Boswell who’s team needed a strong defense since their attack wasn’t wasn’t as strong. They gave up less goals, when compared to Seattle and had to deal with Eddie Johnson trying to support their attack.

    And for those who say that Marshall made a huge defensive improvement for Seattle, look who they had before. Didn’t take much to improve the back line.

    • There’s no way—no way at all—that the Sounders could get away with a “score first, defend second” strategy unless they had Marshall in defense. Marshall was often paired with another CB who was a) Traore, giraffe on roller skates, b) Scott, injured/unfit/error prone, or c) whatever slapped-together replacement Sigi fielded. Then he had to deal with wingbacks either out of position or slow/injured and protect a goalie who fans lovingly described as a “one-armed squirrel” and owner of the patented “Frei punch” (i.e., instead of catching the ball).

      In short, I think you waaay underestimate how unreliable 3/4th of Seattle’s back four and goalie were most of the season.

      On top of that, Marshall hardly ever did anything flashy, but also almost never did anything wrong.

      • The vote breakdown is pretty interesting—and bursts your notion of a PNW bubble.

        As you know, clubs, media, and players vote for MLS awards. If we look at the weighted totals then the voting looks pretty close (at least between the top two):

        Chad Marshall: 82.59
        Bobby Boswell: 76.45
        Omar Gonzalez: 43.38
        Michael Parkhurst: 18.06

        But if we look only at voting by players, then Marshall won by a landslide:
        Chad Marshall: 28.42
        Bobby Boswell: 16.67
        Omar Gonzalez: 11.54
        Michael Parkhurst: 6.19


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