Sounders FC has acquired veteran defender Chad Marshall from the Columbus Crew in exchange for allocation and a third-round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, the teams announced Thursday.
The Columbus Dispatch was first to report Marshall would be headed to Seattle.
“Chad is a quality defender who brings experience to the Sounders,” said coach Sigi Schmid in a news release. “He is dominant in the air, has won an MLS Cup and been a league defender of the year. I look forward to working with Chad again and await his positive contribution to our team.”
Marshall, 29, had played his entire 10-year MLS career in Columbus, where he played under coach Schmid from 2006 to 2008, culminating in a championship. The 6-foot-3 center back was the MLS Defender of the Year in 2008 and 2009, making the Best XI both years, as well.
A native of Riverside, Calif., Marshall has played 253 MLS games, 21st most among active players. He has been capped 11 times by the U.S. men’s national team.
Central defense looked to be a position the Sounders would need to address in the offseason, and Marshall would certainly appear to do that. The Stanford product, drafted No. 2 overall in 2004, made $361,250 last season and his height always makes him a threat on set pieces, as he has 16 goals in his career — plus two more in playoff games.
You might remember what Schmid said at Monday’s business meeting: “We have to have center backs who individually can defend 1v1 and can also start our attack intelligently and can also dominate the opponent they’re playing against. It’s one thing to defend and make things equal. There’s another thing to win the duel and to win the battle and get somebody who’s dominant. Is he dominant in the air? Is he a dominant 1v1 defender? Does he have a look in his eye that (majority owner Joe Roth) mentioned? Does he have that desire? Those are the things that we’re looking for.”
And here is Gregg Berhalter, Crew sporting director and head coach, in a news release: “We’d like to thank Chad for his many contributions to the Columbus Crew over the past 10 seasons. He was a part of some very good teams and contributed significantly to those results. Unfortunately in our league, in order to get something of value you have to make difficult decisions. This deal gives us significant flexibility to continue building our roster. We feel that this is the perfect time to maximize Chad’s value, and by us doing this trade, we have received that and additional resources.”