It's not often we get a local presence in MLS Cup, and by local I mean Inland Southern California. Of course, there's Landon Donovan who is from Redlands and won three MLS Cup titles. Ante Razov (Fontana High grad) has played in a few. Orlando Perez (AB Miller) is another one, but I'm not sure of any others.
Chad Marshall will add his name to the list. A product of Rubidoux High, Marshall has been tremendous this season and deservedly won Defender of the Year. His presence on the backline, his ability in the air and his growing leadership skills are all areas in which he made great strides.
It's a wonder he's not part of the US national team picture. Now, had Columbus not reached the final I'm almost certain Bob Bradley would have called him up for the Guatemala match. But Marshall still has barely played for the US despite a solid 2004 rookie campaign and good seasons in '05 and '06. Concussions set him back a year ago but he's been a pillar of strength from the start of this season and hasn't gotten a whiff.
The United States' loss is Columbus' gain. Here's my profile of Chad Marshall for The Press-Enterprise.