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March 27, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Sounders rave about Chad Marshall

I’ll be writing a story on Sounders FC newcomer Chad Marshall, who has helped lead the Seattle defense to two shutouts in its first three games. The veteran defender will be facing his former team this weekend as the Columbus Crew come to town.

Marshall said it will be “a little different, but I just look at it as another home game — got to get three points. But it will be nice to see those guys after the game.”

Here are some comments about Marshall from his coach and teammates this week:

Photo credit: John Lok, The Seattle Times

Photo credit: John Lok, The Seattle Times

*     *     *

Coach Sigi Schmid

“I’ve worked with Chad before, and he’s a quality defender. The thing is he also brings a calmness to your team and in the back. When you look at him, it doesn’t look like he’s going to panic. He’s a big guy, so everybody relaxes a little bit — relaxes in a good way in that they feel, ‘OK, the cross is going to come and chances are Chad is going to win this. Here’s a high ball. Well, Chad is going to win this.’ You become a little more comfortable in terms … of what he’s going to be able to bring you.”

“I think whenever you’ve been at a place for a long time, maybe a change of scenery is good for you. For me … and I said it back in 2007 and 2008, I think he’s a player who when you look at the U.S. national team, he’s a center back who’s been overlooked. I think his quality is comparable to center backs who are in the national team pool right now. I think his quality is better than some guys who have been called in (some) circumstances. But he also had a bad run. There were a few times where I was coaching him where he would get called in to the January camp and he had to get his knee cleaned out or he had ankle surgery one time, so that took him out of those January camps and people didn’t turn to him again for the opportunity. But for me, he’s a quality center back, as good as any center back in this league.”

Defender Djimi Traore

“We didn’t play that much during the preseason because I was a little bit injured, and I didn’t know him before that, but I can tell you he’s a very, very good player. I’m not surprised why he’s been named (MLS Defender of the Year) a few years ago because I can see his quality, and if he keeps going like that, I think, for me, he has a chance to play for the national team, as well.”

Defender DeAndre Yedlin

“Chad is amazing. Honestly, he may the best center-back I’ve ever played with. It’s just like a reassurance to know if the ball is in the air, we’re not going to lose it. The second ball is maybe a little bit tougher, but he wins every ball in the air. He covers me when I go up. He organizes. He has a great, great passion for the game. He’s been absolutely amazing for us.”

Midfielder Brad Evans

“Obviously his physical presence is one that is probably unmatched anywhere in the league — maybe two or three other players. He’s tactically aware in the game. He covers some ground for a center back and he always puts himself in good positions, and that comes with experience. First and foremost, he’s here for the team. This is a move he wanted to make and one where he thought (he could) kind of jump start. In my mind, the best defender in the league. Obviously his aerial prowess, as well, is something that he gives us. You see it on the field. He manhandled (Andrew) Wenger the whole game. I think he’s still in his pocket.”

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