Marshall named an MLS All-Star in his first season with Sounders FC

Chad Marshall’s rejuvenation in Seattle had another defining moment on Saturday when the veteran center back was named to the 2014 MLS All-Star team, his third career All-Star selection. Marshall’s two previous All-Star bids came in 2009 and 2010, as he was coming off of MLS Defender of the Year seasons in both instances.

Marshall is among five Sounders FC players named to the MLS All-Stars who will take on Bayern Munich on August 6 at Providence Park in Portland. He is joined by Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, DeAndre Yedlin and Osvaldo Alonso.

“It’s been a while since I got to play in one,” smiled Marshall, 29. “Obviously, it’s a credit to how well we’re doing as a team. When you’re top of the table, you’re going to get guys in the All-Star Game. I feel very privileged and happy to represent the Sounders there.”

While attention has been placed square on his shoulders since coming to Seattle after 10 seasons with the Columbus Crew, Marshall is reluctant to say his approach to the 2014 season is any different than it has been in any other year.

The difference, according to Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid, is that Seattle has had success that wasn’t there in Columbus and the 12-4-2 record has increased the spotlight on every player with the club and Marshall has simply responded to that spotlight.

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“Coming here has revitalized his game to a certain extent, but I think with Columbus not doing well over the last few years people have overlooked him. Now coming into our team and us doing well, people are looking at him a little more and they see what an impact he makes on the field,” Schmid said. “I’ve always believed Chad is an All-Star caliber player and player who is maybe a National Team caliber player.”

Having four teammates joining him is a point of pride for Marshall, who was beaming on Tuesday when talking about Seattle’s success thus far this season. He has seen particular benefit from playing with Martins and Dempsey, who have challenged him each day in training in a way that very few in MLS could.

“If you’re not bringing it every day, Oba and Clint are going to make you look pretty dumb. You’ve got to bring it every training and that’s how you get better is playing against guys like that every day and that’s definitely helped this year,” Marshall said.

In two previous All-Star appearances, Marshall started in 2009 against Everton at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, then again in 2010 against Manchester United at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.

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