Tyrone Marshall has taken a leadership role with Sounders FC, the defender's fifth Major League Soccer team.
TUKWILA — Tyrone Marshall has moved on. Four times.
The fourth was a farewell to Toronto FC, which traded the defender to Sounders FC in February. Marshall spent about a season and a half with Toronto, joining the team during its first year of existence, 2007.
Then came the trade to Sounders FC, Marshall’s fifth Major League Soccer team. The 34-year-old native of Jamaica will return to Toronto this weekend with his new team to face his old one.
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Excuse him for not being the least bit bitter about being dealt away.
Everything has so far worked out fine for Marshall. He’s reunited with his coach of several years with the Los Angeles Galaxy, Sigi Schmid. He’s a starter on the MLS’s trendy, new team, which happens to be in first place. And he fulfilled his desire to return to the U.S. to play, and now has a home in the Seattle area for him and his family.
“I was excited. I couldn’t wait to get going,” Marshall said this week when asked about the trade. “I know what he [Schmid] is about. I know the type of coach he is and the personnel that he has around him. He brings in winners, and that what he’s shown so far.”
Marshall is no pushover on defense. He’s physical and savvy, exactly the qualities Schmid wanted in bringing a veteran leader to the Seattle defense during the offseason. And Marshall isn’t just MLS-tested — he has made 60 appearances for Jamaica’s national team.
“He’s just pretty steady, and he knows what to do,” teammate Tyson Wahl said. “He’s seen a lot of situations and plays and kind of knows how to work through some problems.”
Marshall has been a part of two MLS Cup-winning teams. He has also been a two-time MLS All-Star, and was an instant hit with Sounders FC teammates when he reported to the team with a Mohawk haircut.
Schmid has watched as Marshall has matured.
“He was always a very athletic player, and as he’s grown older, he’s become a little better at dividing up his talents in terms of when to be athletic and when to be tactically aware,” Schmid said.
But it was what Marshall brings to Seattle off the field that impresses Schmid most.
“Tyrone’s a good guy in the locker room,” the coach said. “He’s a guy that other players get along with, and with my history with Tyrone, the locker room is very important to the success of a team.”
It doesn’t appear likely that Marshall will get a hero’s welcome in Toronto. The fans at BMO Field pack the soccer-specific stadium and are right on top of opposing players throughout matches. Many do their research about opposing players and will probably have a thing or two to shout at Marshall.
“If we can take the fans out of the game, that plays to our advantage,” Marshall said. “The longer we can play and keep it zero-zero or have a goal or two [lead], that will definitely play in our favor, and at the end of the day if we win the game, the fans can cheer as much as they want.”
• Sounders FC’s travel squad for the Toronto game, which departs today, is made up of 19 players. Eighteen can be activated for the match, and up to 14 can play. Only three substitutions are allowed per game.
• Schmid shortened Wednesday’s practice because of weather.
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or firstname.lastname@example.org