Chad Marshall of the Seattle Sounders has been named Major League Soccer’s 2014 Defender of the Year. Marshall, in his first season with the club, is a three-time winner — most in league history — after taking the award in 2008 and 2009 while playing for 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,” Marshall said in a statement. “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.”
Marshall led the league with 136 interceptions and recorded 126 headers won, 206 clearances and an 83 percent passing accuracy. The 11-year MLS veteran also recorded one goal, an 84th-minute winner against Philadelphia 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 coach Sigi Schmid. “To be the first three-time winner shows his consistent high-quality play in our league throughout his career.”
Marshall received 27.5 percent of the vote cast by media, MLS players and club management officials. Bobby Boswell of D.C. United finished second with 25.5 percent. Omar Gonzalez of the LA Galaxy (14.5) and Michael Parkhurst of the Columbus Crew (6) finished third and fourth, respectively.
The Sounders are up for three more awards. Schmid is a finalist for Coach of the Year, Obafemi Martins for MVP, and Stefan Frei for Comeback Player of the Year.
The Sounders, down one goal in their Western Conference final aggregate series with Los Angeles, take on the Galaxy at 6 p.m. Sunday at CenturyLinki Field.