Sounders' Marshall retires, says 'it's been a blast'

Seattle Sounders defender Chad Marshall is retiring from Major League Soccer after a 16-year career. USA Today Images

Three-time MLS Defender of the Year Chad Marshall has announced his retirement due to injury, bringing an end to a 16-year career that included stints with the Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders.

Marshall announced his decision on Wednesday after missing Seattle's last two games with knee inflammation. The 34-year-old is the only three-time defender of the year in league history, winning the award in 2008, 2009 and 2014. He was named to the MLS Best XI and was an All-Star selection four times. He also won a pair of MLS Cup titles, one in Columbus and one in Seattle.

Marshall's last game for Seattle was on May 4 against Minnesota United, after which it became clear the knee was becoming a problem. Marshall had undergone surgery on the knee to repair a meniscus tear he suffered during the MLS Cup playoffs.

"After the Minnesota game, we had rapid degeneration in his knee joint and unfortunately, after some discussion, it was decided that maybe this was the best course of action," said general manager Garth Lagerwey.

"After more than 15 years of living my childhood dream, the time has come for me to hang up the boots," said Marshall on the Sounders website. "I'd like to thank everyone that has played a part in my career. To my teammates, support staff and coaches: you've been my second family. The locker room is what I'll miss the most. Thank you to the fans of Seattle and Columbus for supporting me throughout the years, as well as the Sounders FC and Columbus Crew SC organizations for giving me a chance to represent them on the field.

"Most importantly, I'd like to thank my family. I'm forever indebted to them for the sacrifices they've made in allowing me to pursue this dream. From heartbreaking losses to MLS Cup wins, own goals to cartwheels, it's been a blast."

Marshall spent his first 10 seasons with Columbus before joining Seattle via trade in 2014. He's second all-time in MLS history among field players in regular-season appearances (409), starts (404) and minutes played (35,843).

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.