Two Defenders, Two Retirements... One Week
In the past week we have seen the retirements of two great American defenders, DaMarcus Beasley & Chad Marshall. Though they are doing it in different ways, Beasley playing out the season and Marshall retiring immediately, they have been two impactful Americans that we are sad to see go. Let’s go through how these two impacted the American game and why they should be important to you as well.
Let’s start with DMB. Beasley has been consistently a reliable and QUALITY left-back for a position that we have not seen many potential starters at. Beasley was also an early MLS product as he was allocated to the Galaxy but was traded to the Fire where he started play in 2000. He would play and play very well for the Fire from 2000 - 2004, playing in 98 games, scoring 14 goals, and recording 20 assists. His time in Chi Town would consist of winning the U.S. Open Cup in 2000, winning the U.S. Open Cup in 2003, and winning the Supporter’s Shield in 2003 as well. Beasley impressed enough on an individual level to be an MLS All Star in 2001, 2002, and 2003 as well as a MLS Best XI player in 2003. Beasley then went on out to the Netherlands when PSV Eindhoven purchased Beasley for $2.5 million.
Beasley’s time at PSV would go from 2004 - 2007 where he would play in 56 games, score 11 goals, and record 8 assists. Beasley would go on to be the first American to play in a UEFA Champions League semi-final game. With PSV he would go on to with the Eredivisie 2 times (‘04-’05 season & ‘05-’06 season) and the KNVB Cup once (‘04-’05 season). Beasley would go out on loan to Manchester City during his time at PSV for the 2006 - 2007 season. He would go on to play in 18 Premier League games, scoring 3 goals, and 1 assist. In 2007 Scottish Premier League club Rangers FC purchased DMB from PSV and would now join the legendary Scottish side. He would play in 30 SPL games from 2007 - 2010 with some success but also some injuries holding him back as well. In those 30 games he would score 4 goals and record 11 assists. During his time in Scotland he would win 2 Scottish Premier League titles (‘08-’09 season & ‘09-’10 season), 2 Scottish Cups (‘07-’08 season & ‘08-’09 season), and 2 Scottish League Cups (‘07-’08 season & ‘09-’10 season). Following Rangers FC, Beasley was a free agent and went to the Bundesliga to sign with Hannover 96. Time in Germany never truly worked out as he only had 4 games played from 2010 - 2011. Beasley would come back to this region and sign for Puebla in Liga MX. In Mexico, Beasley would play in 92 games for Puebla between 2011 - 2014 where he would score 12 goals and 11 assists.
Beasley would come back home from overseas and in 2014 sign with the Houston Dynamo as a Designated Player. From 2014 to this season he has racked up over 100 games for the Dynamo, scoring 3 goals, recording 4 assists, winning a U.S. Open Cup in 2018, and being named a MLS All Star twice (2015 & 2017). Beasley’s time in the U.S. and overseas on the club level was a fantastic one. He was a key part of the teams he won on with Chicago, Houston, PSV, and Rangers. He gained experience and had some great moments with Manchester City, Hannover, and Puebla. But the club level isn’t all for the great DMB.
Beasley is one of the few U.S. Men’s National Team players that have been capped over 100 times. He participated in 4 FIFA World Cups and would win 4 CONCACAF Gold Cups in 2002, 2005, 2007, & 2013. Beasley would also captain the 2013 Gold Cup winning team. Beasley would get his first USMNT cap at the age of 18 playing against China, and getting his last cap against Mexico in 2017 at the age of 35. Thank you Beas for being a fantastic player for club and country and a representation for future U.S. soccer players.
Now, let’s move on to THE BEST DEFENDER IN MLS HISTORY… Chad Marshall. Marshall announced his immediate retirement from professional soccer and what a career he had. Marshall would start his career in 2004 where he was drafted by the Columbus Crew. He would be with the Crew from 2004 - 2013 and rack up 253 games for the club. He would score 16 goals in that time as well as record 10 assists. In his rookie season he would win the MLS Supporter’s Shield & finish a close 2nd to Clint Dempsey for Rookie of the Year. He would go on to win back to back Supporter’s Shield during the 2008 and 2009 MLS seasons. Also during the 2008 MLS season, Marshall would win MLS Cup with the Crew. During those two seasons Marshall was named MLS Defender of the Year and was named to the MLS Best XI. In 2013 Marshall was traded from the Crew to the Seattle Sounders for allocation money and a 3rd round Super Draft pick. During his first season with the Sounders, he would win the Support’s Shield (his 4th in his career) and the U.S. Open Cup (his 1st in his career). That first season would also see Marshall being named as MLS Defender of the Year and a MLS Best XI player. In 2016 Marshall would win his 2nd MLS Cup and his 1st with the Sounders as Seattle defeated Toronto FC. His final career achievement with Seattle was when he was named to the MLS Best XI team for his 2018 season. Marshall would finish his Sounders career with 156 games played, 10 goals scored, and 6 assists.
Marshall would get a few chances with the U.S. Men’s National Team as he had 12 caps in 2005. He would get his only international goal for the U.S. against Colombia during a friendly. Chad Marshall was consistently a top defender in MLS over 15 year career. He will go down as a legend for the Crew and Sounders as he won numerous trophies with both teams. Congratulations to Chad as well as he was always an ANCHOR in professional play.