MLS

Seattle Sounders versus Real Salt Lake features clash of legendary MLS iron men

Chad Marshall Kyle Beckerman 2018-05-22

When the Seattle Sounders host Real Salt Lake on Saturday (2 p.m. PT; JOEtv, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS), the match will feature two of Major League Soccer’s all-time great iron men in Kyle Beckerman and Chad Marshall.


RSL midfielder Beckerman, 36, is in his 19th season and is the league’s all-time leader in games played and games started by an outfield player. He began his career with the now-defunct Miami Fusion, moving on to the Colorado Rapids and leaving his most notable mark in Utah where he’s spent over the last decade.


“He is incredible,” Marshall said of Beckerman. “He is one of those guys who can run forever and gives it for your team every game. He is a battler, and I don’t think I'm catching him [in career starts]. He started when he was 16, so he's been around for a long time and it's a testament to the kind of work that he puts into his body to be able to perform at this level this many years later. It's incredible.”


Marshall, 33, is also an MLS lifer and in his 15th season. He is second all-time in games started and third in games played by an outfield player. (Coincidentally, RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando is first in both categories). Marshall spent his first 10 professional seasons with Columbus Crew SC before joining Seattle in 2014.


“I've been fortunate in my career not to have too many long-term injuries,” said Marshall. “I try to take pride in taking care of myself during the offseason. I think offseasons are super important [for your health] as you get older to make sure that you're ready for the grind of the season.  I've been trying to implement that in the last several years, and it's been paying off.”

Seattle Sounders versus Real Salt Lake features clash of legendary MLS iron men -



Marshall (8) and Beckerman (7) with the U.S. national team in 2010 ahead of a match against Honduras
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USA Today

Each player has had his fair share of personal and collective successes. Beckerman has 58 caps with the United States national team, including appearances at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after leading RSL to the 2013 MLS Cup title. Marshall has 12 U.S. caps, is a three-time MLS Defender of the Year, led Crew SC to the 2008 Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup before leading the Sounders to the ’14 Supporters’ Shield and helping Seattle capture its first league title in ’16.


When Marshall came out of Stanford in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft — he was in the same class as current Sounders teammate Clint Dempsey — he was an immediate contributor. He started 27 of 28 matches in his rookie season and never looked back.


“I always tell this to people, I don’t feel like my game has really changed that much, it's kinda been the same,” Marshall said. “Win headers and pass it to the guys who can create, that’s kinda been my model my whole career. Definitely as the years have gone on, understanding that I need to be more comfortable on the ball as we go forward. I'm trying to work on that, but I feel like I've been the same player for 15 years.”


The Sounders know what to expect from Beckerman as well, who’s etched his spot as one of the best defensive midfielders in league history.


“Kyle has great engines and he’s kept himself relatively injury-free,” Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer said of Beckerman’s career. “He plays a very simple possession-oriented game…He dictates their tempo playing out of the back, so whoever is playing in that area of the field, we want Kyle to pass the ball to someone else.”

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