TUKWILA, Wash. — It has been nearly four years since Chad Marshall has had a significant place in the US national team picture.
That was when the then-25-year-old was one of the final cuts ahead of the 2010 World Cup, which at the time only seemed to be delaying his inevitable place as a foundation of the US defense for years to come. Of course, it didn’t work out that way.
Marshall has been one of the notable names not to earn a single cap during current manager Jurgen Klinsmann’s three-year tenure, rendering his exclusion from the pre-World Cup training camp a bit of a foregone conclusion.
Especially given his mostly standout play during his first season with the Seattle Sounders, Marshall hadn’t quite given up on receiving a surprise call. He’s also still open to the idea of getting back into the team after the World Cup.
“Yeah, you want to be in that picture,” Marshall said on Wednesday, the Sounders’ first training session since suffering a franchise-worst 5-0 loss to the New England Revolution. “I had worked my way in there back before the last World Cup and didn’t get a call the last four years.
"Maybe I wasn’t playing the way I should have been. I’m focused now. I’m focused on this team, and I know that if we do well here that, then the individual stuff will come for players.”
Instead of trying to help the US figure out how to slow down the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Marshall will instead help the Sounders figure out how to end a defensive slump in which they’ve failed to record a shutout in eight matches and allowed 17 goals.
“It’s definitely something we’re aware of and focusing on,” he said. “Every game we try to make it a point to keep it to zero. We’re not trying to give up goals, I promise you guys. It’s just a matter of establishing that chemistry. We have a lot of new guys that are playing together. It does take time.”
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Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid suggested he’s willing to have some patience, but that there’s a limit to how much.
“I’m confident in the personnel we have defensively,” Schmid said. “Defending is everybody, it’s all 11 players. But you have to make plays on the defensive end. For us it’s a situation of we have to make better decisions. If people don’t make better decisions soon, we have to look at different options. But I’m still happy with the defenders we have.”
Marshall, in particular, is well aware that the Sounders’ current defensive form won’t do him any favors in getting back with the national team.
“I’ll keep working hard with Seattle and something could happen,” he said. “But it’s only going to happen when you’re playing well for your club team, so my focus is Seattle.”