Marshall’s 20K minutes has him wanting 30K

BY foxsports • April 14, 2013

COLUMBUS - Standing in the warm, Ohio sunshine after practice Tuesday, 28-year-old Columbus Crew defender Chad Marshall smiled when thinking back to the 59th minute of the Philadelphia match last weekend.

“It’s an honor,” said the 6-foot, 4-inch tall Marshall of hitting his 20,000 minute in the Philly match-up. “I’m happy to have done that and hit a milestone.”

Marshall is the 46th field player in MLS history to play 20,000 minutes and only one of four to do it at one club. He also claims the sole title of the only Crew player to hit that milestone.

But it’s not a milestone he takes on willingly—he joked after the match he felt like he was getting old. After 10 seasons, he still feels like the same California kid who was drafted by Columbus in 2004 after playing two years at Stanford University.

“I feel like I’m the same dude who came here when I was 19,” he said.

Well, almost, his roommate and former Crew teammate—and now assistant coach and broadcaster, Duncan Oughton, said Marshall has had to lay off the pizza and start using the row machine in their apartment.

“I think that’s a big part of his game that’s changed and evolved over the years. I think back in the day as a young guy, pizza is delicious. Coke tastes wonderful, but after you start playing for a few years and you realize, ‘Hey this might all start catching up to me’—that’s been a big evolution with Chad as well” said Oughton. “He really does now take good care of his body. He works hard to keep himself in shape. He’s done a great job at that. He’s at the top of his game.”

Marshall just laughed at his roomie’s take on the enjoyment of pizza: “Yeah, the metabolism starts to die off so you have (exercise more).”

Oughton said it’s more than that, though, with Marshall, who is a key member of this club.

“He’s grown as a player,” said Oughton, saying that Marshall’s game of challenging opponents continues to be his strength. “With his personality he can be combative with opponents. He’s a competitor; he wants to win. He’s been fantastic with this club. He’s really good on the field.”

Marshall said he just tries to keep it simple.

“I’ve tried to be consistent in the way I play. Stick to the things I’m good at,” said Marshall, adding that tenure brings roles you may not expect. “Obviously, over the years, you develop a leadership role for younger guys.”

Marshall said that aspect of the game has been “a struggle for me.”

“I’m not the most extroverted kid,” he said. “I’m kind of quiet; to myself. But at the same time I can remember being that 19-year-old kid who wanted some guidance or some info, so I try and be there for the young guys when they approach me and do my best to help them out.”

Marshall’s help to the younger Black & Gold is less about talking and more about what he brings to the field.

“I’ve always tried to lead by example,” said Marshall. “It’s a business of people constantly trying to take your job, so you just have to bring it.”

The 2008 MLS Defender of the Year is hoping to bring it with the Crew until he hits 30,000 minutes.

“I’ll be the old fart running around the field like Duncan does now,” laughed Marshall about his roommate. “Maybe a little less weight gain than he got.”

You can watch Marshall and the Crew take on Montreal today at noon on Fox Sports Ohio.

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