Tyrone Marshall Image

Defense Not Resting for Seattle

The Sounders FC acquired Tyrone Marshall from Toronto FC to add veteran support in their backfield. They are quickly finding out that he is much more than a defensive presence.

When Tyrone Marshall speaks, it gives a good indication of how he plays.  The words flow from his mouth with speed and precision … quick, but calculated.  Toss in the Jamaican accent and his personality comes streaming to the forefront.

Marshall is the Sounders FC’s newest player, coming in a trade with Toronto FC last week.  Marshall joined the club for the first time Tuesday for a training session at Qwest Field and he was welcomed with open arms after Seattle suffered a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes in the final exhibition game of the California leg of training camp last Friday.

“I think we had that feeling coming in that we would have to work a little bit harder on (the defensive) side of it because there had been so much attention on the scoring side of things,” goalkeeper Kasey Keller said.  “It’s nice to see that with the attention taking to trying to make an exciting atmosphere here at Qwest that the guys have stepped up and shown that they look very dangerous attacking so now if we just clean things up in the back we’ll be good to go.”

Marshall, 34, likely could have joined the team earlier, except that he was in England with the Jamaican national team playing in a friendly against Nigeria.  His 65 caps go well with 248 career MLS games with four different clubs.

“He might be older, but he’s still pretty fit,” head coach Sigi Schmid said.  “He’s got good pace, he brings along that experience, he’s got a good personality.  His pace and his leadership will definitely be a plus for us.”

The Kingston, Jamaica native started his career with the Colorado Rapids, but was traded to the Miami Fusion in 1998 after only one game.  After that team disbanded, he joined the LA Galaxy in the dispersal draft and went on to play in 125 games and win 2 MLS Cup titles, including one in 2002 with Schmid.  After playing the last two seasons with Toronto FC, Marshall is happy to rejoin Schmid in Seattle.

“I know he’s an intense coach that doesn’t like to lose and I’m that type of player as well,” Marshall said.  “You come out every day with your lunch pail to work.  That’s the type of coach he is and I’m very excited to be here.”

Marshall will have two quick chances to show how well he can fit in with his new teammates Friday night when the Sounders FC take on the Portland Pilots at Merlo Field on the campus of the University of Portland and a closed training game against the Vancouver Whitecaps Sunday at Qwest Field.