Chad Marshall

Associated Press

16-year MLS veteran Chad Marshall retires

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Stalwart defender Chad Marshall, who spent his entire 16-year career in Major League Soccer, retired on Wednesday at 34 years old. The announcement confirmed that Marshall’s decision was made largely due to a knee injury that has kept him out of action for most of the last month.

Marshall split his career between just two MLS teams, drafted second overall out of Stanford by Columbus and playing 10 years for the Crew before being traded to Seattle in 2013. He spent five full seasons with Seattle and began the current campaign as a significant part of the squad, but made it just two months in before the injury took over.

“After more than 15 years of living my childhood dream, the time has come for me to hang up the boots,” Marshall said in the official team release. “I’d like to thank everyone that has played a part in my career. To my teammates, support staff and coaches: you’ve been my second family. The locker room is what I’ll miss the most.”

Marshall was named MLS Defender of the Year three times throughout his career, winning it in his first professional season, again in 2008 just one year removed from concussion problems, and most recently with Seattle in 2014. He won the Supporters’ Shield four times – three with Columbus – and also racked up two MLS Cups and one US Open Cup. Overall he made 458 professional club appearances, 272 of which came for the Crew.

“Thank you to the fans of Seattle and Columbus for supporting me throughout the years, as well as the Sounders FC and Columbus Crew SC organizations for giving me a chance to represent them on the field,” Marshall said. “Most importantly, I’d like to thank my family. I’m forever indebted to them for the sacrifices they’ve made in allowing me to pursue this dream. From heartbreaking losses to MLS Cup wins, own goals to cartwheels, it’s been a blast.”

While Marshall was a rock at the back of the Columbus and Seattle defensive units, he was also an imposing force in the air, scoring 26 goals in his career. Marshall also earned 12 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team, debuting in 2005 with a goal against Colombia and playing in the 2009 Gold Cup, and he was called back into the squad for a 0-0 friendly draw with Serbia in 2017 after a seven-year absence.

“Pretty unreal, a fairy tale” — Alonso, Marshall celebrate Sounders title

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TORONTO — Talk about penalty kicks all you want, and definitely talk about that save, but Seattle’s formative heart kept Toronto FC’s vaunted attack off the scoreboard to win its first MLS Cup final.

Veterans Chad Marshall, Osvaldo Alonso, Stefan Frei, and Roman Torres simply got the job done against Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore and the high-flying Reds.

“We knew what a great offensive team they are,” Marshall said. “Giovinco and Jozy are incredible. The amount of goals they put up this postseason is pretty ridiculous, so to keep them off the board for 120 minutes is incredible.”

[ MLS CUP: Seattle wins in PKs | 3 things ]

The man in front of him, Alonso, was a prime reason for that. Countless connecting passes and perfect spacing limited TFC’s chances with the ball. After an MVP caliber season, you could argue that Alonso deserved just as much of a shout for MLS Cup MVP as winner Frei.

“In the final you have to give everything you have to win,” Alonso said. “I step on the field to play for my team, play for myself, and play for my family. And I think I did that.”

Both Alonso and Marshall spoke of the moments following Torres’ match-winning PK, as the Sounders crew flew down to pitch to celebrate in front of a rave green and blue visitors section high above BMO Field.

[ MORE: Bradley apologizes to fans ]

[ MORE: Altidore, Frei on that save ]

“I think I threw my back out on the run to Roman, and he flew right by me,” Marshall said. “It was just nuts. I lost my voice in a matter of 20 seconds. It’s just so exciting.”

Alonso was filled with pride for the fans at the game, and the ones back in Seattle who stood by the Sounders after a midseason coaching change.

“They deserved this, the trophy, because they are always there for us,” Alonso said. “Even when we were down at the bottom of the table. This trophy means a lot for me.”

Marshall admitted the words weren’t coming to him, even an hour after the game.

“I don’t know if I can. It’s an incredible feeling, from where we in July, the Kansas City game, to this moment right now, it’s pretty unreal, a fairy tale.”

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MLS Snapshot: Portland Timbers 3-1 Seattle Sounders (video)

Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images
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The game in 100 words (or less): When the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders get together, they do not disappoint. Sunday’s Cascadia Cup clash, the first of three this season, was no different. The Timbers have the MLS Cup, something their northern neighbors so desperately wish to capture themselves, and now they have the first bragging rights of 2016 following a 3-1 victory over the Clint Dempsey-less (suspension) Sounders, thanks in large part to two Diego Valeri goals and two Lucas Melano assists. Fanendo Adi bagged the third goal for Portland (29 points), who with three points climb over Sporting Kansas City for the sixth and final Western Conference playoff place (with a game in hand). Meanwhile, the Sounders remain ninth in the West, nine points behind their rivals and a playoff place. The two sides will meet again on Aug. 21, in Seattle.

[ MORE: Recapping Saturday night’s MLS action ]

Three Four Five moments that mattered

17′ — Morris misses from 7 yards out — Left foot, Jordan. Left foot. How differently this game could have been…

44′ — Valeri slots home to finish a lethal counter — Lucas Melano does so, so, so well to carry the ball as far as he can, until the very last second, and create just a bit more space for Valeri to run into. Valeri’s finish is simply sublime.

50′ — Valeri defies geometric probabilities to make it 2-0 — An unreal strike from an improbable angle.

59′ — Marshall heads home Ivanschitz’s corner — Big man gets up, makes it a one-goal game again.

64′ — Adi finishes another devastating counter — Melano was absolutely brilliant on Sunday. His 60-yard dribble through the center of the field, the timing of his pass to Fanendo Adi — it was all perfect from the Argentine.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Diego Valeri/Lucas Melano

Goalscorers: Valeri (44′, 50′), Marshall (59′), Adi (64′)

MLS Snapshot: Houston Dynamo 1-1 Seattle Sounders (video)

AP Photo/Bob Levey
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The game in 100 words (or less): The Seattle Sounders are really, really hard to watch. Furthermore, they’re a really, really bad soccer team right now. With just three points to show for their first four games of the 2016 season, Sunday’s away date with the Houston Dynamo became a somewhat important game in the Western Conference playoff race, no matter how early in the year it may still be. In the end, a point from a 1-1 draw will serve a solid building block going forward, but the overall sentiment long before the final whistle is this: another week, another dreadful performance in the attacking half of the field; the switch to the 4-3-3 hasn’t clicked for a number of key figures; a play-making no. 10 is need nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 for Sigi Schmid’s side; Obafemi Martins isn’t walking through that door.

[ MORE: Recaps from Saturday’s MLS action ]

Three moments that mattered

35′ — Barnes scores amid a defensive breakdown — “Defensive breakdown” is the nicest way I can describe what the Sounders did on Giles Barnes’ opening goal while keeping it G-rated. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei called for an impromptu nap time for everyone inside his penalty area, apparently.

84′ — Gomez makes an instant impact, near-equalizer — Herculez Gomez replaced the struggling Jordan Morris in the 79th minute and promptly caused a bit of chaos in the Dynamo’s penalty area. Close, oh so close.

90+4′ — Marshall bags a last-gasp equalizer — When creating quality scoring chances becomes next to impossible, chaos in the box is often the best solution.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Giles Barnes

Goalscorers: Barnes (35′), Marshall (90+4′)

MLS Snapshot: Seattle Sounders 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps (video)

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP
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The game in 100 words (or less): The good news: The Vancouver Whitecaps are no longer point-less on the still-young 2016 MLS season. The great news: their first points and win of the season came at the expense of and keeps their Cascadia rivals, the Seattle Sounders, winless and point-less on the (again, still-young) season. The overriding them of Saturday night’s clash at CenturyLink is unquestionably the refereeing decisions of — are you surprised? — Mark Geiger. Two penalties awarded to the Whitecaps: one wrongly, one rightly. The fact that the phantom call came less than 10 minutes into the game is the real shame, considering how it so obviously changed the game state. Through three games, the Sounders have scored just twice (once from open play), and look a shell of the side that previously boasted the dynamic duo of Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins. It’s not time to panic in the Emerald City just yet, but… it’s not exactly far away either.

[ MORE:Previewing the rest of MLS Week 3 ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Bolaños trips in the box, PK given, Morales converts — Christian Bolaños wasn’t touched by Joevin Jones as the Costa Rican tripped himself up inside the penalty area, but referee Geiger awarded the penalty anyway, and Pedro Morales converted.

52′ — Ivanschitz hammers a free kick for 1-1 — Andreas Ivanschitz absolute thumped this free kick, leaving David Ousted with precisely no chance of scrambling all the way across his goal and getting anything behind it.

73′ — Marshall takes down Perez, OK given, Morales converts — Fun fact: you can actually touch the ball in a challenge and still commit a foul if you wipe an opposing player out, whether doing so before or after getting the ball. That’s what Chad Marshall did to Blas Perez, and Geiger rightly (this time) awarded the ‘Caps a penalty.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Mark Geiger

Goalscorers: Morales (10′ – PK, 74′ – PK), Ivanschitz (52′)