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Former Crew defenders Marshall, Fraser named to MLS 25 greatest players list

Two Black & Gold stars made MLS’s cut.

Philadelphia Union v Columbus Crew Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

We are nearing the conclusion of MLS’s 25th season with the 2020 MLS Cup Final between the Columbus Crew and the Seattle Sounders at MAPFRE Stadium this Saturday. The league is celebrating its history all week long and Wednesday afternoon, MLS announced its 25 greatest players. Included on the list are former Black & Gold defenders Chad Marshall and Robin Fraser.

Marshall was drafted by the Crew with the second overall pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft and the rest was history. In 10 seasons in Columbus, Marshall was a defensive stalwart and one of the most consistent defenders in Crew and MLS history. He played 272 games for the Black & Gold, including 11 postseason contests, and scored 19 goals from his center back position.

The 2008 season was whenMarshall claimed his first MLS Cup title when he helped lead Columbus to a 3-1 victory against the New York Red Bulls in the Final at Carson, California. His signature goal was his header in the Final to give Columbus a 2-1 lead over New York. That season, Marshall was named to his first of four MLS Best XI teams and won his first of three MLS Defender of the Year awards. He earned both honors again in 2009 and after his decade in Columbus, was traded to the Seattle Sounders prior to the 2014 season.

In Seattle, Marshall played in six MLS seasons and was once again named MLS Defender of the Year in 2014. Two years later, he helped lead the Sounders to its first MLS Cup title with a victory against Toronto FC. He was initially a member of the 2019 Sounders squad that won an MLS Cup to earn his third league title despite retiring in late-May of that season. With his 186 appearances in the Rave Green of the Sounders, Marshall played in 458 total MLS games, including 30 in the MLS Cup playoffs, with 30 goals in his career.

There is no doubt Marshall is one of the best defenders in the 25-year history of Major League Soccer and both his former clubs will try and capture another MLS Cup when they meet this Saturday in the league’s 25th MLS Cup.

Only one other player that played for the Black & Gold made the list in defender Robin Fraser. The Jamaican played two seasons for the Crew but had one of the best years of his career in Columbus. In 2004, Fraser helped lead the Crew to the Supporters’ Shield and won his second Defender of the Year award. Fraser was one of the mentors to Marshall as a two-time MLS Defender of the Year and a five-time MLS Best XI winner.

Fraser was selected by the LA Galaxy as the fourth overall pick in the MLS’s inaugural player draft and spent the first five MLS seasons in Los Angeles. With the Galaxy, Fraser won his first MLS Defender of the Year award in 1999, won a Supporters’ Shield and made two MLS Cup Finals. Fraser played three seasons for the Colorado Rapids before being traded to the Black & Gold. He is currently the head coach for the Rapids.

MLS 25 Greatest Players of All-Time (Listed alphabetically)

Jeff Agoos (Defender)

Kyle Beckerman (Midfielder)

David Beckham (Midfielder)

Carlos Bocanegra (Defender)

Dwayne De Rosario (Midfielder)

Clint Dempsey (Forward)

Landon Donovan (Forward)

Marco Etcheverry (Midfielder)

Robin Fraser (Defender)

Sebastian Giovinco (Forward)

Kevin Hartman (Goalkeeper)

Cobi Jones (Midfielder)

Robbie Keane (Forward)

Chad Marshall (Defender)

Josef Martinez (Forward)

Tony Meola (Goalkeeper)

Jaime Moreno (Forward)

Eddie Pope (Defender)

Preki (Midfielder)

Steve Ralston (Midfielder)

Nick Rimando (Goalkeeper)

Carlos Valderrama (Midfielder)

Diego Valeri (Midfielder)

Chris Wondolowski (Forward)

Bradley Wright-Phillips (Forward)