Sounders’ Marshall, referee Mark Geiger win MLS awards

IMAGE, SOUNDERSFC.COM

by RYAN BRISTER
Staff Writer

Seattle Sounders center back Chad Marshall was named the MLS Defender of the Year and Mark Geiger was named Referee of the Year on Tuesday afternoon.

Marshall made 31 starts in 2014, his first year with the Sounders and 11th in MLS. He was noted for his aerial presence and clean play. Marshall committed 20 fouls on the season and earned just one yellow card. The Sounders as a whole, however, conceded 50 goals, tied for the eighth-fewest in the league and the most among teams that made the playoffs. They gave up six goals in the three games Marshall missed.

It’s the third time that Marshall has been defender of the year, having previously won the award when he played for the Columbus Crew in 2008 and 2009. Marshall becomes the first player in league history to accomplish that feat; Carlos Bocanegra is the only other player to win the award more than once. It’s the first time that the award has gone to a Seattle player in their six seasons.

30-year-old Marshall was behind DC United’s Bobby Boswell in club and media voting, but won significantly more votes from players to win the overall vote. Boswell, who won in 2006, finished second in the voting. LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez finished third, and Columbus’ Michael Parkhurst was a distant fourth.

In the referee voting, Mark Geiger ran away with the award, winning a majority of the votes from clubs, players, and the media.

Geiger refereed 13 MLS games this year, handing out 40 yellow cards and four red cards. He also presided over three games at this summer’s World Cup, and became the first American to referee a knockout-stage match when he did called France vs. Nigeria in the round of 16.