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Chad Marshall stories

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The Sounder at Heart crew recalls what they’ll remember most about Chad Marshall’s tenure.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Nerdy Gamer

A couple of years ago I took my kids to a Chad Marshall autograph signing at the Alderwood Mall Pro Shop. The true reason I we went is because I played a lot of Destiny 1 and had found out that it was a video game that he played. So I got a screenshot of one of his in-game characters for him to sign. When it was our turn to approach I first had him take a photo with my kids and then I plopped the screenshot in front of him. He barely blinked and just began signing it. He then let out a small sigh and confessed he was frustrated that he was having trouble fully leveling that character. What a nerd. - LikkitP

Golden Boot Leader

Chad Marshall, arguably the best defender in MLS history (a certain honey badger may argue the point), was an amazing acquisition by the Sounders in 2013. I don’t recall my reaction to the trade (a combination of advancing age and the news about Steve Zakuani signing with the team to the south dropping at the same time), and I’m not sure that any specific play of his stands out. As the cliche goes, you only notice defenders when the do something wrong. It’s a testament to Chad’s quality that after a game that his name almost never came up. Except that’s not entirely accurate, because he was one of the most dangerous set-piece guys from his position in league history too. “Golden Boot leader Chad Marshall” became a thing for a minute, so I suppose as a fond memory that will do. - Miki Turner

Stone Cold Celebrator

There are so many great moments in Marshall’s career on the field and he is gives some great interviews, even if they are about 3 words normally. The best and most memorable part of Chad’s career for me is his emotionless celebration. Chad rarely scored goals and unlikely many defenders, he didn’t break into a big celebration just a Dad-style airplane with a very small smile. If it even counts as a smile. He gives the same look after big stops and wins. That look will be what I remember Chad for. Well that and that he led the Sounders in goals for what seemed like months in 2016. - Jacob Landsberg

Always a Great Quote

After a 2016 playoff win in Dallas, I was waiting for a different player’s scrum to begin in the locker room. Chad Marshall had his arm up on a locker and I think he was eating something, watching nonchalantly. “You guys want to know how I feel about not winning the Humanitarian of the Year award?” I looked at him, intrigued to potentially get a good quote from the often tight-lipped defender for once. “Yeah, definitely,” I said, about to start my recorder. “It sucked,” he said before walking away.

One other occasion was after a training session, I think it was in 2016 after Roman Torres came back from his long-term injury. Since he and Marshall hadn’t played together much, their partnership in defense had really just begun. I wanted to get some of Marshall’s thoughts on Torres and that partnership. In a small scrum with a few other reporters, I tried to ask Marshall four or five questions about Torres and how it is to play with him. He answered “no” or “I don’t know” to most of them, and after a couple minutes I just gave up and let him walk away. - Spenser Davis

Dutiful Daddy

Chad Marshall had many wonderful moments on the field, whether it was scoring important goals or making goal-saving plays. But I think what I’ll remember most is the way he interacted with his daughter. It has now become almost common place to see players with their kids on the field. I’m not sure any of them have done it with quite the care of Marshall. I can only imagine how stressful it must be for a young child to be on the field in front of 40,000 fans. But Marshall’s daughter never seem bothered, whether she was on her daddy’s shoulders or simply holding his hand. I suppose we can all relate to that feeling whenever we see him on the pitch. - Jeremiah Oshan

The Marshall Special

When it comes to his play on the field, there isn’t a solitary moment that comes to my mind from Chad Marshall’s career — but there is a Marshall move that will be forever ingrained in my memory and will make me smile every time. Nobody does the leg reach-around to steal the ball like Chad Marshall. Others can try, even those with the height and long legs to pull it off. But Chad did it every single time, poking the ball away and rarely getting called for a foul. It must have been so frustrating for forwards, thinking they had the perfect positioning to win the ball. Just as Johan Cruyff or Diego Maradona got moves named after them, Marshall deserves to have the perfectly timed defensive move attached to his name. - Susie Rantz

Someone to watch for

Chad Marshall is one of those defenders that doesn’t play with pizzazz — he quietly dominates the air and intercepts passes trying to find their way through the channels. On set pieces, though, he’s the guy to watch. Even this year, there would always be at least one, often two, people trying to mark him and box him out ... and he STILL managed to get himself into almost every aerial scrum.

Story time! In 2016, immediately after winning the Western Conference Championship and advancing to the MLS Cup final, around 150-200 fans gathered in the parking lot at the charter plane company at Boeing field (unbeknownst to the players).

On the tarmac, getting off the plane, Chad Marshall saw the media (about 10-15 of us) and said something along the lines of, “Hey guys, thanks for coming! Good to see a crowd.”

I responded, “Wait until you see what’s waiting for you in the parking lot.”

Marshall: “Why? What’s out there?” - Max Aquino