Report: Crew send Marshall to Sounders

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

A new era is beginning for the Columbus Crew, and apparently without one of its more long-standing members.

According to a report from the Columbus Dispatch, the Crew are set to trade center back Chad Marshall to the Seattle Sounders. It is not yet known what new Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter is receiving in return, but the move signals the end of a decade-long stint for Marshall in Columbus and reunites the veteran defender with Sounders manager Sigi Schmid.

(UPDATE- Both clubs officially announced the deal on Thursday afternoon and the Crew are getting allocation money and a 2015 third round MLS SuperDraft selection in exchange for Marshall.)

“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,” said Crew sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter in statement released by Columbus. “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.”

The 29-year-old Marshall has been an integral part of the Crew since being drafted by the club in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft. He is Columbus’ all-time leader in minutes played, a two-time MLS Defender of the Year and helped the team lift the MLS Cup trophy back in 2008 while under the direction of Schmid.

“Chad is a quality defender who brings experience to the Sounders,” said Schmid in a Sounders’ statement. “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 started each of the 30 matches he played in for the Crew in 2013 and he contributed one goal on the offensive end.

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What do you think of the Crew sending Marshall to the Sounders? Is it a bad move on Columbus’ part? Do you see him thriving under Schmid in Seattle?

Share your thoughts below.

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26 Responses to Report: Crew send Marshall to Sounders

  1. Zack says:

    Marshall makes a lot of money for a big slow guy.

    • TomG says:

      He didn’t use to be slow. Has he lost that much pace in the last few years? Makes sense in that Sounders desperately need defensive help and, like the Galaxy, don’t seem to be restricted by the salary cap considerations that every other club has to deal with. Somehow they always magically find room for more high salary players.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        what are you talking about TomG ?

        They just got rid of their starting GK, who was one of the lowest GA avg in league history and their leading assist guy…..back to back.

        I guess those guys didn’t get paid ?

        • slowleftarm says:

          GA average? I hardly think I qualify as a eurosnob but hockey stats don’t really apply to soccer.

          • go euro or go home says:

            stats hardly had anything to do with the point. do you have one (a point)?

          • bb says:

            I’m pretty sure goals against average is a stat people use in soccer. Look at the article about Reis retiring. I think they mention his GA avg there as well.

        • TomG says:

          Just snarking, ha! You Cascadians are great fans but so sensitive! Just laughing because they practically had an All Star team last season. Not sure how they manage to get everyone under the cap. Someone in the FO knows how to manage a cap.

  2. Isaac says:

    What has happened to Marshall? He used to be a guy people would talk about constantly as a future national team center back. Has his form really deteriorated such that nobody ever mentions him?(except as a big slow guy, apparently)

    • TomG says:

      He’s kind of out of the spotlight in Columbus but we will see lots of him in Seattle and be able to determine his form quickly. Any Crew supporters out there that can give us a rundown of his form over the last couple years?

    • Gary Page says:

      I k now that he lost most of one season to injuries and maybe that has led to a decline in his level of play. Any Crew fans have more insight?

      • SilverRey says:

        The biggest issue with Chad is concussions. Every time he would go down after a big challenge I would cringe. He’s been pretty healthy other than that.

        I would still stay that he’s not that far off of Nat Team quality, still very intelligent and has decent feet. I don’t feel he’s slowed down too much. He ebbed some in his aerial aggressiveness due to the concussions (this took him out of the USMNT picture), but has evened out a little now as he is learning to deal.

        Sad to see him go because I think he’s good player, but somewhat relieved not to have to worry about losing our #1 CB every time there’s a corner kick (especially for $220k).

        • Frank says:

          Concussions and knee issues. He also had surgery on his ankle last year. He is a solid defender but rather quiet.

    • Troy says:

      Whoscored.com had him in their best XI and he was rated #4 overall out of all CB’s statistically. I think people are underestimating him BIG TIME

  3. Commenter says:

    What is going to happen with Eddie Johnson? I know he isn’t part of this trade deal but he might be gone soon.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      There is nobody safe in Seattle, that hasn’t just been signed to a new deal, IMHO.
      The Sounders are not sitting still and with four starting CBs now there should be a move very soon.

    • SilverRey says:

      I’m definitely on the fence with EJ. On the one hand having Eddie and Oduro running off of Higuain could be glorious, especially with him motivated by the World Cup. On the other hand… well, it may be the EJ who never performs after a big contract.

      • TomG says:

        And you guys really need to shore up the defense. EJ is a valuable chip that you could convert into a big time defender. RSL EJ for CJ? SKC has an extra CB in Opara. Would you do Sapong, Opara and a pick for EJ?

  4. JJ says:

    Great move. This is exactly the type of cb we need. We have a bunch of physical and athletic cb’s and they get caught out of position a lot. He’s a smart guy and can boss the backline well. May not be as athletically gifted as he once was, but we don’t need him to be with Hurtado, Traore, and to a lesser extent, Ianni. I’m guessing at least one of those guys will be gone soon too anyway.

  5. k says:

    you don’t remove 1 of your longest serving players, especially a 1 man club player

    you just don’t do it.

    do you see Hannover or Liverpool dumping Cherundolo or Gerrard

  6. Grant says:

    As a Crew fan, I think it’s fair to say that Marshall has been a very steady presence in the back for the past few years. Age has caught up to him a little bit and there’s no question he’s not as dominant as he used to be. With that being said, he’s still a high quality player. Frankly, my biggest concern with him has been the multitude of head injuries he’s suffered. I seem to think he’s one good knock from calling it quits.

  7. Travis says:

    I hate when trades involve allocation money, they never say how much and it is just a vague term. That said the Sounders didn’t give up to much at all to make this deal in terms of a third round pick so we’ll see if it works out

  8. Bellus Ludas says:

    The Single Entity Structure of MLS allows no room for sentiment…either perform, retire or move to Front Office. I never thought Pablo would play in LA nor BIGTALLBALDGUY in Philly…but it happens.

    I just hope these sort of moves don’t squash idea of Testimonial Matches…

  9. Automata says:

    As a Crew fan, I don’t like this. Chad’s been a rock, the one defensive player we could consistently count on, on a very very thin back line. Add that to the fact that Greunenbaum still isn’t signed and we could be very shaky and inexperienced defensively. I would have loved to see him play his entire career here, but if he requested the move to play for Sigi again, then I’m happy the FO honored his wishes while gaining some cap space.