Three-time MLS Defender of the Year Chad Marshall announces retirement

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Retirement

After a glittering 16-year career in Major League Soccer, Seattle Sounders defender Chad Marshall is retiring, effective immediately, the club announced Wednesday. 

Marshall, 34, is the only player in league history to be named MLS Defender of the Year three times (2008, 2009, 2014). He was named to MLS Best XI four times (2008, 2009, 2014, 2018) and is a four-time All-Star (2009, 2010, 2014, 2015). 

“After more than 15 years of living my childhood dream, the time has come for me to hang up the boots,” Marshall said in a statement. “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. 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.

"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.”

Chad Marshall holding MLS Cup | USA Today Sports

Marshall's trophy case isn't just filled with individual awards. Between time with Columbus Crew SC and the Sounders, he twice won MLS Cup (2008, 2016), four Supporters' Shields (2004, 2008, 2009, 2014) and one U.S. Open Cup (2014). He's one of the most decorated players in league history. 

Since making his debut in 2004, Marshall accrued 409 appearances and added 26 goals. Playing his final professional match on May 4 at Minnesota United, Marshall has been listed on the club’s injury report with right knee inflammation in recent weeks.

“When we traded for Chad back in December of 2013, Head Coach Sigi Schmid really believed in him, and he challenged us to go and get one of the best defenders in league history,” Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer said. “Despite being a known commodity across MLS, Chad still exceeded all of our expectations during his time in Seattle. On top of his exceptional play on the field, Chad brought a level of veteran stability and leadership to the locker room and was an excellent member of the Seattle community. On behalf of the club, I extend my heartfelt thanks for his service and consider it an honor to have watched him in Rave Green.” 

Outside of MLS, Marshall made 12 appearances with the US men's national team and starred two seasons at Stanford. 

“Thank you, Chad. It was a privilege to have such a smart, humble player as part of the Sounders for so long, one of the greatest careers for any domestic player in MLS history,” GM Garth Lagerwey said. “We really enjoyed having Chad as part of this organization, from his wickedly funny personality to everything he brought on and off the field. Chad is going to be successful with whatever comes next, and he will always be part of the Sounders family.”

Marshall is set to be honored on Saturday, June 29 in a pre-match ceremony before the Sounders take on the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

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