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March 13, 2011 at 9:03 PM

Catching up with former Sounders defender Tyrone Marshall

tmarshall colorado.jpgPhoto credit: Mike Stobe, Getty Images

Recently Tyrone Marshall came back to town as a member of the Colorado Rapids. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to talk to him in person, but I did track him down over the phone to chat about his new team, his old team and if he thinks he got a fair shake by Sounders FC in the offseason.

* * *

(You’ve switched teams before in your career. Has this move been easier because of that experience? Harder for any reason?) “It’s always difficult when you change teams, especially coming from an organization like Seattle where everything is top-notch. Not to say that it’s not the same with Colorado, but it’s just a different transition. You’ve been moving for such a long period and now you think you’re going to settle down and get everything sorted out. Then all of a sudden I’m moving again. It’s difficult because you have kids, and they have school and there’s that element that comes into play. So it is a little bit more difficult than it was before. It’s difficult, but it is what it is and you just have to move on. You get with the club, get yourself acclimated, get yourself sorted out with the group and get ready to perform and win some games.”

(Was it difficult to come back to Seattle? You get to see guys again and say, ‘Hi!’ to the fans, but you’re coming back to where things didn’t work out…) “Definitely I’m going to have hard feelings especially when you have to uproot your family and go to a new city. It was a little bittersweet. Obviously everything didn’t work out how it was planned, but at the end of the day it is what it is. My family has been fine. We’ll get by, but we still have friends in Seattle. We’re going to miss the city. Everything happens for a reason. We just have to move on, not dwell on it. I’m here in Colorado and they want me — that’s why they drafted me. I’m excited to be here.”

(After the two years you had here, winning team defender of the year in 2009, did you feel you got a fair shake from Sounders FC in the offseason?) “You know what? It’s kind of tough to say. In my eyes, I didn’t think I did to be honest. But that’s not my decision to make. It’s the coach’s decision to make. Obviously they wanted to go in a different direction and, like I said, it’s understandable. But when you’ve done so much for the club, I think you deserve something. They didn’t see it that way. They’re moving in a different direction and I guess I’m moving in a different direction as well. At the end of the day I have to provide for my family and I was put in a situation where I could read in between the lines. I figured the best decision was to go with my family and go to a place to play instead of sitting on the bench because that’s just not me. I want to go out and compete and win.”

(I was talking to Sanna Nyassi the other day and he said it was nice for him to have you around when he went through his difficult situation. How has your relationship continued at a new team?) “It’s good. Me and Sanna are right next to each other in the locker room. We have a lot of conversations and chat about what’s going on in Seattle. Whenever you leave a team you always see what’s going on with your friends there. We always talk about what’s going on with the guys and all that good stuff. The guys call us to talk. It’s good that we have that friendship. It makes it a little bit easier. It gives you a sense of confidence as well that you have a guy there that you’re comfortable with. You settle in a little bit quicker than usual. I think Sanna’s been doing that. We’ve definitely acclimated to the team quickly. He’s done well in the preseason as well as myself, so we’re really excited. We’re just ready to get the season started.”

(He talked about the difficulty going to a new team as a quiet, shy guy. You’re the opposite, very outgoing. Was there anything you told him or did to help him in that regard?) “Yeah, I mean one of the thing I’ve learned from being in different locker rooms is you always talk to the guys in the morning, shake their hands, say ‘Good morning!’ and those little things you sometimes take for granted. That’s just a way to integrate yourself with your new teammates. They appreciate that. You just talk to them, say ‘How’s it going?’ and they can relate to that. It just kind of breaks the ice. With the preseason being long and drawn out the guys get closer to everyone. That’s just the way you go about it and at the end of the day they’re going to be your teammates so you have to get to know them.”

(In the course of your career, how important was it for you to be able to bring Sounders FC into the league from Day 1?) “Those were two of my best years in the league, I think. Just playing-wise, but it’s also a great organization, great fans and being in Seattle you feel like a professional. When you’re on the street people recognize you and that’s a good feeling as a professional player. It’s not everywhere in the U.S. where people recognize you, like for example Colorado. I went somewhere and my buddy introduced as someone that played for the Rapids. If that was Seattle they’d recognize you right away. That’s how big it is there. I appreciate the time I was there because I’ve been around and I know what it’s like. The experience in Seattle is one that I’ll always cherish and I’m sure my family will as well because we really enjoyed it — both just in the community and also the soccer community. We had a really special time.”

(Lastly, the Sounders brought in a new Jamaican forward O’Brian White. He said he didn’t know where to get some Jamaican food and was going to talk to Ezra about it. Do you have any recommendations?) “You know the thing is you have to get with Ezra. Ezra is the guy that knows the spots. With me, I just end up cooking. I like it authentic. When you go out and get it, it’s not always like you want it. You got to do it how you like it and I like to cook my own food.”

Considering Sounders FC’s situation at centerback, do you think Tyrone Marshall still had a place on the team?online survey

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