Major League Soccer announced today that Seattle Sounders FC defender Chad Marshall has been named 2014 MLS Defender of the Year. This is Marshall's third Defender of the Year Award - the most in MLS history - after claiming the honor in 2008 and 2009 with the Columbus Crew.
"I'm very honored to be named Defender of the Year and it's a testament to the great season we've had," said Marshall. "I feel privileged to be a Sounder and I can't thank my teammates, coaches, organization and fans enough. Defense is a team effort, so on behalf of the rest of the defenders I'm happy to accept this award."
In his first year with Sounders FC, Marshall proved to be an invaluable part of Seattle's backline, anchoring the defense as the club went on to capture its first-ever Supporters' Shield and its fourth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title. Marshall led the league with 136 interceptions and recorded an impressive 126 headers won, 206 clearances and an 83% passing accuracy. The 11-year MLS veteran also recorded one goal - an 84th-minute winner against Philadelphia on May 3 - and matched a career high with three assists.
"I'm very happy for Chad. He has played well this season and been a great impact on our team," said Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid. "To be the first three-time winner shows his consistent high-quality play in our league throughout his career."
The award was voted on by media, MLS players and MLS club management based on regular season performance. The other two finalists were D.C. United defender Bobby Boswell and LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez. Below is a breakdown of the voting for the top four candidates.
Below is more from the league, on the defender award, and also on referee and assistant of the year:
Major League Soccer announced today that Seattle Sounders FC defender and MLS veteran Chad Marshall has been named 2014 Defender of the Year. This is Marshall’s third Defender of the Year award – the most any one defender has won in MLS history. In addition, Mark Geiger has been named Referee of the Year, summing up a season in which he was also selected as one of the 25 referees to officiate the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Colleague Paul Scott picked up the Assistant Referee of the Year award.
2014 Defender of the Year: Chad Marshall – Seattle Sounders FC
In his first year with Seattle Sounders FC, Chad Marshall proved to be an invaluable part of Seattle’s back line, anchoring the Sounders’ defense as the club went on to capture its first-ever Supporters’ Shield and its fourth U.S. Open Cup title. Marshall’s imposing 6’4’’ frame caused problems for opposing squads on both ends of the field, with the California native notching one goal and three assists in his 31 appearances for the Cascadia club, all of which were starts. His blend of aerial dominance, vision and composure proved instrumental for the Sounders in 2014, who are now vying for a spot in the MLS Cup final.
The award was voted on by media, MLS players and MLS club management based on regular season performance. The other two finalists were D.C. United defender Bobby Boswell and LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez.
MLS Defender of the Year Winners:
2014: Chad Marshall – Seattle Sounders FC
2013: Jose Goncalves – New England Revolution
2012: Matt Besler – Sporting Kansas City
2011: Omar Gonzalez – LA Galaxy
2010: Jamison Olave – Real Salt Lake
2009: Chad Marshall – Columbus Crew
2008: Chad Marshall – Columbus Crew
2007: Michael Parkhurst – New England Revolution
2006: Bobby Boswell – D.C. United
2005: Jimmy Conrad – Kansas City Wizards
2004: Robin Fraser – Columbus Crew
2003: Carlos Bocanegra – Chicago Fire
2002: Carlos Bocanegra – Chicago Fire
2001: Jeff Agoos – San Jose Earthquakes
2000: Peter Vermes – Kansas City Wizards
1999: Robin Fraser – Los Angeles Galaxy
1998: Lubos Kubik – Chicago Fire
1997: Eddie Pope – D.C. United
1996: John Doyle – San Jose Earthquakes