Knee injury forces Sounders FC defender Chad Marshall into retirement

SEATTLE, WA – MARCH 08: Chad Marshall #14 of the Seattle Sounders FC passes against Teal Bunbury #10 of the New England Revolution at CenturyLink Field on March 8, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. The Sounders defeated the Revolution 3-0. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

SEATTLE -- Seattle Sounders FC defender Chad Marshall on Wednesday announced an injury is forcing him to retire from professional soccer.

Marshall played 16 years in Major League Soccer with the Sounders and Columbus Crew FC. He's the only player in league history to win MLS Defender of the Year.

The 34-year-old has seven major trophies and ranks second all-time among field players for appearances, starts and minutes played. He appeared in more than 400 matches.

"After more than 15 years of living my childhood dream, the time has come for me to hang up the boots," said Marshall. "I'd like to thank everyone that has played a part in my career. To my teammates, support staff and coaches: you've been my second family. The locker room is what I'll miss the most. Thank you to the fans of Seattle and Columbus for supporting me throughout the years, as well as the Sounders FC and Columbus Crew SC organizations for giving me a chance to represent them on the field. Most importantly, I'd like to thank my family. I'm forever indebted to them for the sacrifices they've made in allowing me to pursue this dream. From heartbreaking losses to MLS Cup wins, own goals to cartwheels, it's been a blast."

Marshall has been listed on the club's injury report with "right knee inflammation in recent weeks due to degeneration of the knee joint."

His final match was May 4 at Minnesota United.

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