SEATTLE, WASH. – Major League Soccer today revealed the 2018 MLS Best XI, recognizing the league’s top players at each position as determined by media, MLS players and MLS technical staff. Sounders FC centerback Chad Marshall was included as one of three defenders, marking his fourth career Best XI selection (2008, 2009, 2014, 2018). Marshall finished second in voting for 2018 MLS Defender of the Year, announced earlier this week.
The league’s only three-time MLS Defender of the Year winner (2008, 2009, 2014), Marshall shined for Seattle this season, helping the club finish second in the Western Conference with the second-stingiest defense in the league en route to the club’s 10th consecutive postseason appearance. Marshall tied an MLS career-high with four goals scored to go along with one assist in 30 regular season matches. On October 21 at Houston, he became just the fourth player - and second field player - in league history to appear in 400 games and pass the 35,000 minutes-played mark. Marshall currently ranks second all-time among outfield players with 396 career starts and 35,123 minutes played, trailing only Kyle Beckerman in both categories.
Marshall is joined on the 2018 MLS Best XI backline by New York Red Bulls defenders Kemar Lawrence and Aaron Long, the latter of which was voted 2018 MLS Defender of the Year. With four career Best XI selections, Marshall is tied for sixth in league history, with Landon Donovan’s seven holding the top spot.
This marks the sixth time a Sounders FC player has been voted to MLS Best XI. Freddie Ljungberg received the honor in the club’s inaugural campaign in 2009, while Kasey Keller and Osvaldo Alonso were selected in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The club’s Supporters’ Shield-winning campaign in 2014 produced two selections in Marshall and Obafemi Martins.
The 11 players named to the Best XI hail from eight different countries and represent some of the league’s most exciting and accomplished talent comprised of international stars, breakout players and top newcomers to the league. Eight different MLS clubs are represented by this year’s Best XI squad. Seven of the players named to the Best XI are first-time selections, with Almirón, Martínez and Piatti making their second appearances, and Marshall making his fourth appearance.
2018 MLS BEST XI
GOALKEEPER: Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC)
DEFENDERS: Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS: Luciano Acosta (D.C. United), Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club)
FORWARDS: Zlatan Ibrahimović (LA Galaxy), Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), Wayne Rooney (D.C. United)