The Seattle Sounders said goodbye to the franchise and Major League Soccers greatest defender Wednesday morning when Chad Marshall announced his retirement after playing 16 years of professional soccer due to a nagging knee injury. The 34-year-old Marshall is the only player in MLS History to win MLS Defender of the year three award three times. Marshall walks away having won seven trophies and ranks second all-time among field players in all MLS participation categories ( appearances, starts and minutes played)
Marshall was an ambassador for the game on and off the field. It was his ability to keep things in perspective that made Marshall a one of kind. A no-nonsense game-changing defender on the field and a joker inside the locker room. The human touch is what separated Marshall from all others. On numerous occasions, Marshall could be seen playing with kids on an adjacent field at Starfire Sports Complex after the team has concluded its official practice.
Keeping consistent with his team first manner, Marshall released a statement through the team thank everyone from coaches, support staff, and teammates.
“After more than 15 years of living my childhood dream, the time has come for me to hang up the boots,” said Marshall. “I’d like to thank everyone that has played a part in my career. To my teammates, support staff and coaches: you’ve been my second family. The locker room is what I’ll miss the most.
Thank you to the fans of Seattle and Columbus for supporting me throughout the years, as well as the Sounders FC and Columbus Crew SC organizations for giving me a chance to represent them on the field. Most importantly, I’d like to thank my family. I’m forever indebted to them for the sacrifices they’ve made in allowing me to pursue this dream. From heartbreaking losses to MLS Cup wins, own goals to cartwheels, it’s been a blast.”
FUTURE ARRIVES ONE DAY AFTER
While the deal was made on March 7th it was quite surreal around the Sounders training facility that one day after teammates and staff barely finished drying their eyes defender Xavier Arreaga met with the media. The 24-year-old Ecuadorian center back and former defender/ midfielder Joevin Jones were signed on May 7th prior to the MLS 10:00 p.m ( PST) deadline.
As for when Arreaga will see the pitch, Schmetzer was optimistically cautious about predetermining any kind of a timeline.