While Chad Marshall was not named 2019 MLS Defender of the Year, writers, players and club executives did reward him with a 4th appearance on the MLS Best XI. Marshall’s first appearance was back in 2008 with the Columbus Crew. He now has two Best XIs with each of the two teams he’s played for from 2004-present.
Marshall is joined on the backline by Aaron Long (Defender of the Year) and Kemar Lawerence, both of the New York Red Bulls. Zach Steffen (Keeper of the Year for some reason) stands behind them.
Voters are only required to vote for one keeper, three defenders, three midfielders and two forwards. They are allowed two flex positions, but are not required to vote in a fullback or defensive midfielder. Thus, the midfield consists of four great attacking mids; Carlos Vela, Ignacio Piatti, Miguel Almiron and Luciano Acosta.
At forward is the greatest goal scorer the league has ever seen — Josef Martinez. He is joined by two old dudes who proved they have just a bit left in the tank — Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney.
Marshall is now tied with Seattle Sounders assistant coach Preki and seven other greats (Eddie Pope, Marco Etcheverry, Jimmy Conrad, Omar Gonzalez, Shalrie Joseph, Robbie Keane, Diego Valeri) with four appearances in the Best XI. Marshall, Conrad, Pope and Gonzalez are tied for second-most Best XI appearances by a defender, trailing Robin Fraser, who has five appearances.
Chad is one of six Seattle Sounders to make an appearance on the Best XI — Freddie Ljungberg (‘09), Kasey Keller (‘11), Osvaldo Alonso (‘12), Obafemi Martins (‘14).