Upon listening to the recording of TSG’s interview with Chad Marshall, a voice can be heard at its conclusion in the background.
“That’s more than you normally get.”
This is followed by another voice saying, “C’mon Chad, one-word answers.”
Marshall may let his play primarily do the talking en route to 2 MLS Defender of the Year awards and 1 MLS Cup, but he did have a few interesting things to say to TSG last week at USMNT training camp at the Home Depot Center.
The defensive stalwart for the Crew is still recovering from a September knee injury that sidelined him for the last round of World Cup qualifying and the European friendlies in November, but is happy with his progress.
“I wouldn’t say it’s 100%,” said Marshall last Wednesday following practice, “but I am able to train. It was rough being out for so long, so getting things back, it’s been a process. But I’m getting through training, so it’s alright.”
Unfortunately for the #2 overall pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft, this isn’t his first time dealing with injuries. Marshall had a run of concussions earlier in his MLS career that nearly forced him off the pitch for good.
Coming back from the brink of forced retirement changed Marshall’s outlook on the game.
Said Marshall, “You definitely appreciate the game more…It sucks being up in the box watching games.” This mentality has helped Marshall get through training on his way back to fitness which at times has been “daunting.”
Marshall’s deeper appreciation for soccer has led to tremendous success on the pitch, but the winner of back-to-back Defender of the Year awards in MLS (as well as a shout-out from President Obama on the Crew’s trip to the White House) is all about the team.
When asked about his goals for 2010 outside of the World Cup, Marshall said, “The main goal always…going into every season is to make the playoffs and make a run for MLS Cup. 2008…was the best year of my career and it all came down…to as a team winning it. The individual awards…are great and stuff, you know, tell the grandkids later on in life, but…it’s nice having those rings.”
If it was up to Marshall team success would extend beyond the Crew and USMNT. Despite a tryout with FSV Mainz 05 in Bundesliga 2 at the end of 2008, Marshall signed a multi-year deal to return to Columbus. However, he still harbors aspirations of heading over to Europe.
“I’d like to go over there, you know, for at least for a contract…to experience that,” said Marshall, “I think MLS has come a long way, but…the best football in the world obviously is still over there….if, you know, I don’t get a chance to go over there I won’t be mad that I spent my whole career in MLS.”
One thing about the 6’4″ central defenders game that surprises people is his quickness; something this writer knows little about. Marshall attributes his unique size-to-speed ratio to combination of natural talent and training. Said Marshall, “I think it is something that our trainers in Columbus have done a really good job helping guys with quickness, working on…different forms of running. It’s a credit to them, but…I kind of got blessed with it, I guess.”
As one of the Best XI in MLS the past two seasons, Marshall is clearly at the top of the American club game. His ability to bolster his resume for a potential European contract by playing meaningful minutes in South Africa hinges on the health of Oguchi Onyewu. Whether that happens or not, expect Marshall to continue to let his feet do the talking en route to a long career with the US National Team.