Best XI: Who are the best defenders in Seattle Sounders FC history?

As part of our “Celebrating 10 Years in MLS” campaign, SoundersFC.com has launched a Best XI campaign where fans have the opportunity to vote for the club’s all-time MLS starting lineup. The voting is weighted with four sets of voting contingents: Fans (25 percent), Media (25 percent), Club Stakeholders (25 percent) and Alliance Council (25 percent), with the final Best XI to be revealed on Wednesday, July 10.


The second voting group to determine our Best XI: Defenders (May 22 - May 28).

Candidates

Saad Abdul-Salaam 2019 - Present
Tony Alfaro 2016 - 2018
Jalil Anibaba 2014
Onyekachi Apam 2014
Xavier Arreaga 2019- Present
Evan Brown 2009
Marc Burch 2012 - 2013
Jonathan Campbell 2019 - Present
Andres Correa 2015
Andrew Duran 2012 - 2013
Ashani Fairclough 2013
Oniel Fisher 2015 - 2017
Waylon Francis 2018
Leo González 2009 - 2015
Taylor Graham 2009 - 2011
Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 2009 - 2013
Patrick Ianni 2009 - 2013
Adam Johansson 2012 - 2013
Joevin Jones 2016 - 2017, 2019 - Present
Kim Kee-hee 2018 - Present
Kelvin Leerdam 2017 - Present
Aaron Long 2014
Damion Lowe 2014 - 2015
Chad Marshall 2014 - 2019
Tyrone Marshall 2009 - 2010
Jordan McCrary 2018
Tyrone Mears 2015 - 2016
Jimmy Ockford 2014 - 2015
Jeff Parke 2010 - 2012
Dylan Remick 2013 - 2016
James Riley 2009 - 2011
Zach Scott 2009 - 2016
Brad Smith 2018 - Present
Daniel Steres 2012
Nouhou Tolo 2017 - Present
Román Torres 2015 - Present
Djimi Traore 2013 - 2014
Tyson Wahl 2009 - 2011
DeAndre Yedlin 2013 - 2014
Eriq Zavaleta 2013

Highlights

The crown jewel of MLS defenders, Chad Marshall, who retired on Wednesday, will go down as arguably the league’s best defender of all-time. He is second all-time for games played by a field player (409) and minutes (35,843). He is the only player to be named MLS Defender of the Year three times (2008, 2009, 2014) and has four MLS Best XI honors (2008, 2009, 2014, 2018). He is a four-time MLS All-Star (2009, 2010, 2014, 2015), a two-time MLS Cup champion (2008, 2016) and a two-time Supporters’ Shield winner (2008, 2014). After joining the Sounders in 2014 following 10 years with Columbus Crew SC, Marshall is fourth all-time in games played (156) and helped Seattle win the 2014 U.S. Open Cup, 2014 Supporters’ Shield and 2016 MLS Cup.

Leo González played in 137 matches, fifth-most in club history, for the Sounders in seven seasons from 2009-15. The Costa Rican was an MLS club original and a fixture on a back line that helped Seattle win four U.S. Open Cups (2009, 2010, 2011, 2014) and a Supporters’ Shield (2014). He played more than 10,000 minutes for the Sounders and scored two goals and added four assists.

Seattle native DeAndre Yedlin became the Sounders’ first Homegrown signing and had a meteoric rise in his first two professional seasons. Yedlin played 56 matches in two seasons, chipping in a goal and four assists. An electric outside back, he shined with the United States at the 2014 FIFA World Cup before transferring to English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in 2014. He was arguably MLS’ best fullback during his time in Seattle and continues to excel in England with Newcastle and the U.S. national team.

 

One of the most imposing defenders in MLS, Román Torres has been a nightmare for opposing attackers since joining the Sounders in 2015. He suffered an ACL tear not long into his initial tenure, but has appeared in 57 MLS matches and formed a center back duo with Marshall that led the Sounders to 2016 MLS Cup.

Mr. Sounder Zach Scott was a USL holdover and MLS original and still is one of the most recognizable faces of the franchise. He played eight MLS seasons from 2009 until his retirement following the 2016 season, where he helped the Sounders win their first MLS Cup. Scott played over 8,000 minutes in 118 MLS matches and won six trophies: 2009 U.S. Open Cup, 2010 U.S. Open Cup, 2011 U.S. Open Cup, 2014 U.S. Open Cup, 2014 MLS Supporters’ Shield and 2016 MLS Cup.