I'll admit that I was incredibly impressed with Tyrone Marshall in 2011.
The then 36-year old center back was picked up by Gary Smith to be a depth player but was thrown into over 2000 minutes of playing time and performed admirably considering the situation. I had no qualms with them bringing him back in 2012, expecting that health wouldn't be as much of a problem and that he wouldn't receive anywhere close to the number of minutes he had last season. After all, the only reason he dipped off at the end of the season seemed to be the over-saturated schedule he was being given.
Unfortunately, 2012 has gone from mediocre to worse for Tyrone.
When Marshall has been in the center instead of Drew Moor, it has rarely ended well for Colorado. He gets burned by some of the slowest players in the league -- seriously, Robbie Keane and Kenny Miller demolishing you two weeks in a row?! -- and his field intelligence seems to have lost a step. Most of his defending has consisted of his taking a player running past him and tearing the guy down.
That's some Rapids Thug Life, for sure. It's not what we need though, especially considering how bad the set piece defense this year has been.
More importantly than his defensive problems are the problems with keeping him in the middle in favor of Drew Moor. We've certainly had a few issues defensively at the fullback positions this year, but moving Drew to right or left back has not particularly helped much. It's shored up the defending on the side for sure, but Moor's leadership is best expressed in the middle, where he can also put up better defensive numbers. Marshall doesn't seem very apt at controlling a back line, with most of the more egregious errors on the season regarding blown offside traps, lack of correct marking, mistakes on who is marking who etc. coming with Tyrone in the center.
Is Marshall worth $90,000 for the services he provides? I would argue that he's not. Is he acting as that much of a veteran leader in the locker room for one of the oldest teams in Major League Soccer? Probably not. The Rapids proved against Vancouver that he is acting as more of a detriment on the field than a positive. Against LA, the slowly gelling back line of Zapata, Moor, Wynne and Freeman proved that they really don't need him getting starts at all.
On that note, and combined with the fact that he's going to be a ridiculous 38 years old at the end of November, I don't see a reason to keep him around any longer. You can use that 90K to pick up a better, younger defender with absolutely no problems -- perhaps it could even be Chris Klute. Assuming another year's worth of loss of skill, could the 22-year old former Silverback really do much worse?
(Join us next week for a much shorter article dealing with arguments for getting rid of Scott Palguta!)