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US Team in Bind; Marshall to the Rescue?

September 5, 2009

The United States first choice centerbacks are both out against El Salvador. Oguchi Onyewu has a one game yellow card suspension and Jay DeMerit has a groin strain. It looks like Carlos Bocanegra will move back inside and pair with one of the other backs in camp, either Chad Marshall or Clarence Goodson. Goodson is a solid option, but all signs are pointing to Bob Bradley picking the Columbus Crew defender to start his first World Cup Qualifier. It is a must win game at home and Marshall will be tasked with stymieing the Salvadoran offense while providing a big target on set pieces.

Is Marshall does indeed get the call, he should thank a couple of people. Firstly, Guillermo Barros Schelotto has showcased Marshall’s aerial abilities. Chad is now a goal scoring force. An even bigger debt is owed to the former Crew Coach Sigi Schmid. Schmid harnessed Marshall’s talent and molded him into the polished defender he is today, a player who is comfortable with the ball at his feet and can organize a defense. Sigi even benched him in 2006 when he wasn’t getting the results out of Marshall.

Marshall has done everything right since signing his new contract with MLS last season. He has raised his game and now has performed well enough to get chances to play in World Cup Qualifiers. I wouldn’t be surprised European teams looking to purchase him in the winter.

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