Chad Marshall was named MLS' Defender of the Year, a deserving award for a player who was hands down the best defender in the league this season.
Marshall has always been a steady defender but really took a great step forward this season. After battling concussions this year, Marshall was his usual self from the start of the year. But Columbus was a good team this year as opposed to the three years he's been there and with a good offense that was able to maintain possession and score goals, the pressure wasn't on the Crew's back line for the majority of games.
I felt Marshall deserved Rookie of the Year in 2004 when Columbus also had the league's best record but Clint Dempsey won the award, who was quite deserving as well.
Now, boasting such talent may seem to lead to national team play but for some reason Marshall is in a small but talented group of MLS players who do not get call-ups to the national team. I know Oguchi Onyewu is a physical specimen and everything but I honestly don't think he is leaps and bounds above Marshall's level. I don't. Onyewu gives away some pretty bad fouls and he gets beat more often than he should. Marshall is smart about not giving up set pieces and rarely gets beaten, even by speedy players. Marshall positions himself very well and anticpates plays which helps against the speedy guys.
Hopefully Marshall will get that call sooner rather than later but for now the only thing he can do is to play up to his ability and good things will happen.