Nov. 9, 2009
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Major League Soccer announced that former Stanford star and current Columbus Crew defender Chad Marshall has been voted the 2009 Visa® Defender of the Year for the second consecutive season, becoming only the second player in league history to win the award in consecutive seasons (joining Carlos Bocanegra, 2002-03).
Marshall, the 2008 Defender of the Year and a 2009 MLS All-Star, anchored a Columbus defense that allowed only 31 goals during the regular season, which was third fewest in the league this season and established a new club record. Marshall started all 18 games in which he played during the regular season, missing four while serving National Team duty with the U.S. and another six with a knee sprain at the end of the season.
Marshall starred at Stanford during the 2002 and 2003 seasons, helping Stanford all they way to the NCAA final as a freshman in '02. That season he was named to the Soccer America national All-Freshman team, as well as being named second team All-Pac-10. He left Stanford after just two seasons and was a first round pick of the Crew in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft.
Marshall helped the Crew capture its second straight Supporters' Shield title, awarded to the team that finishes with the league's best regular-season record (13-7-10, 49 points), and the 6-4, 190-pounder will lead the Crew into the second leg of its Eastern Conference Semifinals series vs. Real Salt Lake tonight at 8 p.m. at Crew Stadium.
Marshall won MLS Player of the Month honors for August after leading the Crew to a 4-1-0 record during the month, which included four shutouts. He proved again that he's not only an imposing force on defense, but also poses a scoring threat whenever he gets forward. Marshall finished third on the team with four goals scored, including game-winners vs. New York (June 27), Colorado (Aug. 1) and FC Dallas (Aug. 15).
Now in his sixth MLS season, the 25-year-old Riverside, Calif., native was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft by the Crew. Marshall joins Bocanegra and former Crew defender Robin Fraser as the only two-time Defender of the Year award winners. Marshall led the voting ahead of Seattle Sounders FC defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Houston Dynamo defender Geoff Cameron, the other finalists for the award.
In addition to the MLS honor, Marshall was named to the U.S. National Team roster by head coach Bob Bradley for the upcoming friendly versus Slovakia on Nov. 14. With the World Cup just six months away, Marshall appears to be a solid bet to join the U.S. Team in South Africa.