MLS legendary defender Chad Marshall announces his retirement

Chad Marshall retires
Chad Marshall has announced his retirement after a long, successful 16-year MLS career. Photo courtesy of Kara Durrette/Seattle Sounders FC.

Seattle, Washington (May 22, 2019) — Major League Soccer has just seen the end of a defensive era. Chad Marshall, who spent his entire professional career in MLS, has announced his retirement.

Marshall, 34, retires in the midst of his 16th MLS season. He began his career back in 2004, joining the Columbus Crew SC. During his time in Columbus, Marshall made 253 appearances, which currently leads the Crew for all-time appearances. He also holds the record with all-time starts, totaling 250. Meanwhile, Marshall also scored 16 times for Columbus and provided 10 assists.

Continuing with his time in Columbus, Marshall scored twice in the postseason. He was part of the 2008 MLS Cup championship team. Marshall scored the second of three goals in the championship game against the New York Red Bulls.

Marshall joined the Seattle Sounders FC in 2014. Current team owner Adrian Hanauer recalled how former head coach Sigi Schmid believed in Marshall.

“[Sigi] challenged us to go and get one of the best defenders in league history,” Hanauer said. “Despite being a known commodity across MLS, Chad still exceeded all of our expectations during his time in Seattle. On top of his exceptional play on the field, Chad brought a level of veteran stability and leadership to the locker room and was an excellent member of the Seattle community. On behalf of the club, I extend my heartfelt thanks for his service and consider it an honor to have watched him in Rave Green.”

Marshall’s success extended to Seattle

Columbus wasn’t Marshall’s only championship.

When he joined the Sounders in 2014, Marshall joined a team that had made the playoffs since their creation in 2009. Marshall hoisted the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophy with the Sounders. Two years later, he was an MLS Cup champion again, defeating Toronto FC in 2016.

He went back to the finals in 2017, but the Sounders fell to Toronto.

Brian Schmetzer coached Marshall since 2016, but was also one of his assistant coaches throughout his time in Seattle. Schmetzer said that once Marshall arrived in Seattle, he became a “massive” influence for the franchise.

“…Whether it was his play on the field or his impact off of it, he is a true champion,” Schmetzer said. “It’s hard to put into words all of the positive things he has brought to the club and his teammates. It has been an honor to coach such a fantastic American player, arguably one the best defenders in MLS history. I’d like to thank him for what he’s done in the Sounders community and wish him the best in whatever he decides to do next. We, the players and staff will miss him, and our league has lost a great player.”

Marshall was a starter immediately this year, but featured last against Minneesota United FC. He has been listed as out with right knee inflammation due to, as the club said, “degeneration of the knee joint.”

Graphic courtesy of the Seattle Sounders FC.

What Chad Marshall said

Marshall had a lot of people to thank when addressing his decision to retire. However, at the top of his list is his family, which consists of his wife Megan and daughter Addie.

“I’m forever indebted to them for the sacrifices they’ve made in allowing me to pursue this dream,” Marshall said. “From heartbreaking losses to MLS Cup wins, own goals to cartwheels, it’s been a blast.”

Marshall said that for more than 15 years, he got to live out a childhood dream. However, the time came for him to hang up his boots.

“I’d like to thank everyone that has played a part in my career,” Marshall said. “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.”

The Sounders are planning to honor Marshall at the club’s next home match on June 29 at CenturyLink Field.

What his teammates and the city of Seattle said

 

PHOTO: Chad Marshall has announced his retirement after a long, successful 16-year MLS career. Photo courtesy of Kara Durrette/Seattle Sounders FC. 

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