[MLS]The Columbus Crew lost Coach Sigi Schmidto the Seattle Sounders FC, but it has retained the stars of its 2008 championship team. First, MVP Guillermo Barros Schelottore-upped, and now Defender of the Year Chad Marshall has re-signed for the 2009 season.
Shortly after returning from a tryout with German Second Division club, Marshall signed a multi-year contract with Columbus.
"We have made a significant commitment to ensure that Chad remains a member of the Crew and we are very pleased to have gotten that priority accomplished," said Crew technical director Brian Bliss. "It goes without saying that he played a vital role in our championship season and re-signing him allows us to retain our core group of key contributors."
The Crew, who will be coached by former assistant Robert Warzycha, should return 11 of 11 starters from its 2008 team. Brad Evans went to Seattle in the MLS expansion draft. Columbus will welcome back in Evans' place young Scotsman Angus Moffat, who was injured early in the 2008 season.
Marshall anchored the Crew's defense that allowed the third fewest goals in MLS (36) and scored six goals -- four in the regular in addition to two goals in the playoffs, including the game-winning goal in the Crew's 3-1 victory over New York at MLS Cup 2008.