The Seattle Sounders continued their offseason makeover on Thursday, adding veteran defender Chad Marshall in a trade and losing two players — Steve Zakuani and Marc Burch — in the first stage of the MLS re-entry draft.
The Marshall deal is the third trade Seattle has made in three days after acquiring goalkeeper Stefan Frei from Toronto and sending midfielder Mauro Rosales to Chivas USA for forward Tristan Bowen earlier this week.
The trade for Marshall was announced before the draft, which was not without some intrigue. Just minutes before it started, the Portland Timbers orchestrated a trade with Chivas USA to get the second pick, which they used on Zakuani.
Think that won’t add to the Sounders-Timbers rivalry?
Zakuani was the Sounders’ first-ever pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. He has appeared in 80 regular-season matches, with 17 goals and 14 assists. He has not played regularly, though, since breaking his leg in April 2011 on a hard tackle by Colorado’s Brian Mullan.
“I enjoyed my years at this club,” Zakuani said on his Twitter feed, “the first 2 were great on the pitch & then came injuries that slowed me down but I always felt your support.”
In Portland, Zakuani will be reunited with Caleb Porter, his college coach at Akron. In 2008, Zakuani was the runner-up for the Hermann Trophy, which is awarded to the top U.S. college soccer player.
Burch was one of five players drafted, the most in Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft in the four years the league has conducted the process. The other players selected were defender Sean Franklin by D.C. United with the first pick, center back Bobby Boswell by D.C. with the 20th pick and midfielder Corben Bone by Philadelphia with the sixth pick.
The Sounders acquired Marshall, 29, from the Columbus Crew in exchange for a 2015 third-round pick and allocation money.
Marshall has spent the past 10 seasons with the Crew and was MLS defender of the year in 2008 and 2009. The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder also earned MLS Best XI honors those seasons. Sounders coach Sigi Schmid coached the Crew from 2006-08.
Marshall ranks 21st among active players with 253 MLS appearances and has 11 caps for the U.S. national team.
“Chad is a quality defender who brings experience to the Sounders,” Schmid said in a release.
“He is dominant in the air, has won an MLS Cup and been a league defender of the year. I look forward to working with Chad again and await his positive contribution to our team.”
The Sounders also announced they had re-signed goalkeeper Josh Ford.