Posts Tagged ‘Chad Marshall’

Chad Marshall, Still On The Mend, Talks To TSG

Marshall could be manning the back line for the USMNT come June 12.

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.

Chad Marshall's 2008 included scoring the eventual game winner in the MLS Cup.

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.

USMNT Aarhus: A Few Changes

Edgar Castillo

Show us what you got, Edgar.

MONDAY UPDATE: A Sunday night update to the US Soccer press release on the roster said that Jose Francisco Torres has been excused for personal reasons after being initially called into camp. According to Neil Buethe at US Soccer (US Men’s Spokesman and a very nice guy as well) this morning, there is no further information available through US Soccer at this time and no player will assume JFT’s spot.

Questions by TSG surrounding further inclusion of Torres and why Jeremiah White wasn’t selected, though Benny Feilhaber was, in his home stadium were met with a “No Comment – Coach’s Decision” as well.


USMNT Bratislava took off this morning for Aarhaus, Denmark….well most of the squad did.

Dropped from the roster called up for yesterday’s 1-0 loss to Slovakia were Chad Marshall, Steve Cherundolo and Clint Dempsey. Folks may be surprised that Dempsey was sent packing back to England. Since there are a number of plausible reasons we are not inclined to climb into Bob-O’s head before we have our first cup of coffee this morning, but we’ll revisit the issue later this week. Also of note, Soccer Insider reports that Chad Marshall’s knee is still not right.

With the MLS playoffs behind them, USMNT regulars Ricardo Clark and Stu Holden were added to the group.

Now that the Mexican standings are set, TSG fave Jose Francisco Torres is on a plane over to Denmark to continue his Saprissa redemption tour. Torres is joined by left back (we say left middie) Edgar Castillo. Castillo is set to answer the hype in his first call-up to the US mother ship. Let’s see those chops–and passport–young lad.

In other Sunday news:

  • Congrats go to the Salt Lakers whose playoff run continued by extinguishing the Fire on kicks. RSL generally clamped down on the Fire offense and was able to maintain possession in the midfield–the key to the game for them.
  • Uruguay made World Cup qualifying a bit tougher on the Costa Rica besting the Ticos 1-0 on the throw rug at Saprissa. This WC bid will be settled on Wednesday in Montevideo.
  • Here, let me write this next one like ESPN would to get you to “click” the story: “Is another America defender headed to the Premiership! To Man City no less!”…..Sorry to do that on a Sunday, reports have former Thomas Rongen whipping boy Neven Subotic, who now plays for Serbia after coming through the US “U-” series, possible going to Man City in the January window. We’re fine with Spector, but the depth would have been nice.
  • The friendly series was not kind to Arsenal yesterday, Arsenal superstriker and Netherlands national teamer Robin Van Persie limped off in Italy 15 minutes in to the 0-0 draw and is now expected out for 3 months. That leaves Arsenal without size up front as Denmark nattie Nicklas Bendtner is slated for groin surgery and at least a month on the shelf dating back to his Halloween injury versus Tottenham.

November Weekending: TSG and You

I’m ran out of creative titles for our weekend piece a long time ago. What I have not run out of is cheesy “soccer globe” pictures at my brothers request.


Mark's favorite soccer globe #7

Away we go….

First a big thank you to all of you that nominated TSG for best soccer blog on, especially whoever left the fantastic comment. Like we said earlier this week, we’re going to bring this one home like’s it’s a Champion’s Cup for the fans….FOR THE FANS DAMNIT!

Second, a happy birthday to one Josmer Volmy Altidore. Next time we chuck some flack at JZA, let’s remember that he’s, still, not legally allowed to consume alcohol in the States. Happy 20th to the USMNT big man, let’s hope he unwraps a start this weekend.

• Can’t start off the weekend without commenting on the Columbus Crew having time to hit the links before the frost appears in November.  I wonder what the odds were in Vegas (if they run them) that the Crew, with their typically brick wall backline, would give up three unanswered to Real Salt Lake. Applause to RSL as they finally played a tough game on the road in Abercrombie country. More notes:

» Poor fan favorite Frankie Haircut did not help the cause for the home side Thursday evening and I place the blame squarely here. Kidding.

» Taylor Twellman has his own candid assessment of why Columbus exited.

» The piece I wanted to write comprehensively today was on a Chad Marshall. The Stanford grad earned his second straight MLS defender of


The 6'4'' needs to take on bigger targetmen

the year award this week which begs the obvious question, “Whither Europe, Chad?” Beyond Marshall’s stoic on-ball defense, TSG has been consistently and pleasantly surprised by Marshall’s deceptive speed and ball distribution (a trait sorely lacking on the USMNT) from the central defense. A move to Europe–Marshall trialed in Germany last year–would be as good a measurement for Marshall as for the MLS. Can the best MLS defender rise to a top squad in Europe? We’re betting on you Chad.

Oh and slight positive for the USMNT here. Big Chad’s schedule (as well as Robbie Rogers’s) is now wide open for Slovakia and Denmark.

• Forget if Saturday or Sunday is the better soccer day this weekend, you just don’t want to miss the EPL showdown between Chelsea and Manchester United.

» The first question in this one is undoubtedly going to be: “Can the Red Devils much maligned defense handle the attack of Drogba and Anelka?” It’s very possible that both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic will watch this one from the sidelines. That would leave a somewhat capable, but less experienced duo of Wes Brown and Johnny Evans deputizing in the middle.

I’m more worried about the pace of Anelka in this one as I think Brown and O’Shea can, at least somewhat, contain Drogba on United’s right side.

» I’ve been very impressed with Michael Essien (as always) this year, but also Branislav Ivanovic who is filled in more than capably for the


Le Sulk will need to put on Le Show for the home team.

injured Jose Bosingwa at right back for the Blues. Not sure he gets up the pitch this Sunday as he does against weaker sides, but still look out for him.

» I’m beating the same drum again, but again I think the midfield is the difference in this one. TSG has consistently criticized the center of the pitch of Sir Alex, be it the lack of younger talent or just Fergie’s combinations. Against a very formidable midpitch of Lampard, Essien, Ballack and likely Joe Cole, Man U will have to work very hard to link passes up the field and get the ball to Wayne Rooney. I expect Ferguson to start Scholes and Carrick in the midfield, but I’d really like to see Darren Fletcher and Anderson, especially, in there to start. Although Scholes has the vision to unlock a game like this, I don’t think he has the consistency anymore and I’m not sure his he can handle the physical play of Lampard and Essien. Additionally, I think Man U’s best shot at ball movement is the wings with Nani and Antonio Valencia.

» Don’t forget to pop over here if you’re in SF for the match and some FIFA.

• Sunday should also give USMNT fans yet another reason to tune in with Hull City (JZA) playing at Stoke City, West Ham (Spector) playing at Everton (Howard) and Fulham (Demps/EJ) traveling to Wigan. Would love to see Jozy taking some shots on Thomas Sorensen.

• And if the EPL is not enough, (the) MLS brings us the second leg of Dynamo-Sounders and Galaxy-Chivas. The Houston home game should have

MLS Earthquakes Galaxy Soccer

Um, where do you want me now coach?

some fireworks given the chippy play throughout the opener. Houston will definitely be looking to come in and show a lot more consistency than they did up in Emerald City. As for Chivas-Galaxy let’s just hope for a better defensive affair…well and actually better coaching from Bruce Arena.

Arena kept moving Beckham all over the pitch last Sunday, trying to free up the Spice Man for some service. Alas, I think all it did was throw the offense out of whack for the Galaxy. Any thoughts here?

• Back to Saturday, tune into Tottenham vs. Sunderland. While Man U-Chelsea is certainly the marquee match-up, Tottenhan will be looking to rebound against a suprisingly strong side from Steve Bruce. If Sunderland can right itself against inferior opponents, they’re strong enough to get a shot at qualifying for the Europa Cup come campaigns’ end.

Alas the Black Cats enter the game without striker Kenwyne Jones, who was just a moron in not containing himself last weekend as West Ham defender Herita Ilunga did his best fish-out-of-water routine, and Lee Cattermole who sustained an injury as is probably a bigger loss.

Oh and someone needs to clue in Harry Rednapp that his talent needs are in goal and defense, categorically not on the offensive end. Van Nistelroy? Pass.

Probably would have been good to hold on to Darren Bent though. Let’s predict Bent’s twitter message: “Just a draw man. But Harry knows he screw’d up. Nice to stick one home back at White Hart. Fools….”

• In the last game Saturday, Wolverhampton entertain Arsenal. After Wenger’s squad shellacked Hotspur last week, look for Arsenal to hang a 3 or 4 spot going away. Let’s just hope it’s not against USMNTer Marcus Hahnemann.

We’ll update this piece more as the day goes on….

Oh, two weeks to playoffs and in the Bundestinysanfrancisco League, the San Francisco Black Sox have new unis and merch and a commanding lead in the standings, positive 28 goal difference in 6 games. Keep it up Sox. If you like the logo, go right ahead and sport it–we don’t make a nickel.

As Predicted, Misses The Mark

While Ives Garcalep ( filed a fair game report on the U.S. meltdown against Mexico, the same cannot be said for ESPN soccer editor Jen Chang.

While I generally feel that Chang’s commentary is right on (calling out BB’s strategy of two defensive midfielders, arguing for overseas players over MLS players), his commentary on yesterday’s game was just plain off.

Chang calls out the Americans for letting Mexico recover it’s swagger by not fielding a strong Gold Cup team. He further excoriates the U.S. depth and suggests that beyond Stu Holden and Troy Perkins, yesterday’s performances by Kyle Beckerman and Chad Marshall among others undid all the work they put in earlier in the tournament.

My first issue is that I did not hear from Chang the entire tournament. Maybe he was recovering–like nearly THE ENTIRE US FIRST TEAM–after a long arduous tournament against top competition in a different time zone. Really Jen, you wanted the U.S. to trot out it’s first team in a weak Gold Cup field where no team brought all their top talent after playing 5 games in 3 weeks just days before? Further, after many had been away from their club teams and the top level play we want them to get before 2010.

Also where was your analysis early on? The U.S. struggled against Haiti and even Panama at times. That they would struggle yesterday was more likely than the phenomenal 1st half display the team put on.

To suggest that players like Marshall and Beckerman did themselves a disservice is another egregious mistake without mentioning that a) their play was strong in the first half and b) Javier Aguirre was so concerned with his team’s first half play against a second rate U.S. squad that he brought in Carlos Vela to pair Giovani Dos Santos to start the half. That’s two, count’em, two EPL strikers to take on the U.S. jv team.

Further, it is play against quality competition that coach Bob Bradley can use to measure his arsenal of players. He just saw his “A” team against Spain and Brazil less than a month earlier. What did the “A” team have to prove in the Gold Cup? What player insights would be gained against mostly inferior competition for players that taken on 3 of the top 10 teams in the world?

A better angle if you wanted to call out the USMNT team would be to discuss the eerie parallel between Brazil piling on the U.S. in the 2nd half of the Confederation’s Cup final game with yesterday’s second half implosion. As this blog can well atest, I have been critical of Bob Bradley’s halftime adjustments and considerations in such situations and again yesterday we saw the U.S. come out not ready to handle an invigorated Mexican attack. While the manner of attack was flashy and the score finally obnoxious, the U.S. had a similar behavior against Haiti, giving up two goals in the course of ten minutes after half time in a decidedly different manner.

At least this time Bradley tried to change up the team (admittedly too late) with early insertions of Kenny Cooper and Santino Quaranta.

The story of yesterday is not the Yanks letting Mexico regain their confidence (if Mexico has to rally around beating the U.S. “B” team just a year before the World Cup that’s a bigger problem) or how certain players canceled out their entire tournament. It’s about measuring the Gold Cup team in aggregate (by achievement and by the next step of growth necessary) and a disturbing trend of coming out tactically unprepared in the 2nd half.

Yesterday’s post-game opinion saying ESPN would miss the mark


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