Skip to main content

Originally published December 12, 2013 at 6:28 PM | Page modified December 12, 2013 at 9:55 PM

  • Share:
  • Comments (15)
  • Print

Sounders acquire Chad Marshall but lose Steve Zakuani and Marc Burch on whirlwind day

The Sounders exchanged allocation money and a third-round pick in the 2015 draft to get Marshall from the Columbus Crew, while Zakuani and Burch went to new teams via the MLS Re-Entry Draft on Thursday.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Latest from the Sounders FC blog

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
Patience, my friends..more to develop. We still have the best back-flipper the league... MORE
Sorry, but Zak is no speedster anymore. He was a great player his 1st year, but Mullan... MORE
Agree with main regarding Zak..doubt he'll get much playing time with the Timbers..I... MORE


The whirlwind of Sounders FC’s offseason continued in full force Thursday, as the team acquired one of the best defenders in MLS over the past decade but also lost one of its “originals” from the inaugural 2009 season.

The Sounders gave up allocation money and a third-round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft in exchange for Columbus Crew veteran Chad Marshall, the MLS Defender of the Year in 2008 and 2009. That acquisition was tempered later in the day, however, by the loss of midfielder Steve Zakuani to the Portland Timbers through the MLS Re-Entry Draft.

Marshall, 29, has played for the Crew in all of his 10 seasons in the league. Three of those years in Columbus were under current Seattle coach Sigi Schmid, capped by an MLS Cup championship in 2008 before Schmid left for Seattle.

The 6-foot-4 Marshall has played 11 games for the U.S. men’s national team, his last appearance coming in 2010. He made $361,250 last season and called the trade “bittersweet” in an interview on the Crew’s website.

“I do have to leave a great club here, but I am excited about the opportunity of going to Seattle and helping that team in any way that I can,” he told

The Sounders had a clear need in central defense, and Schmid addressed as much in Monday’s end-of-the-season business meeting. In fact, Schmid almost seemed to be reading the résumé of Marshall when describing the type of player the team was pursuing.

“We have to have center backs who individually can defend (one-on-one) and can also start our attack intelligently and can also dominate the opponent they’re playing against,” Schmid said Monday.

Zakuani, 25, was a Seattle mainstay since being drafted No. 1 overall in the 2009 SuperDraft, though he suffered a devastating broken leg in 2011 that limited his time on the field the last 2½ seasons.

His departure ultimately wasn’t a surprise, as it had been revealed he wouldn’t receive a contract extension upon the expiration of his previous deal. That made him eligible for the MLS Re-Entry Draft, which began Thursday, where he was selected by rival Portland — a demoralizing blow for many Sounders fans.

Zakuani had played under Timbers coach Caleb Porter in college, leading a dominant Akron program. Portland star Darlington Nagbe, who also played at Akron, is one of Zakuani’s closest friends.

Seattle’s Marc Burch was also selected in the Re-Entry Draft, going to the Colorado Rapids. Midfielder Blair Gavin went unselected and will be eligible in Wednesday’s second stage.

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or On Twitter @joshuamayers

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Career Center Blog

Career Center Blog

Looking for joy on the job

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►