Chad Marshall Training With Mainz In Germany

Columbus Crew defender Chad Marshall is training with German second division team FSV Mainz 05.

Chad Marshall of the Columbus Crew is currently training with FSV Mainz 05 of the German second division. The 2008 MLS Defender of the Year was slated to play in a test match with the club on Monday according to the club’s official website.

Marshall will continue training with the club until Thursday. However, there was no mention of a permanent deal. Yet the 24-year-old Marshall is out of contract with MLS and could move to Europe in the January transfer window. Marshall’s size and defensive skills make him a promising target for Mainz.

The second division side has a recent history of success. Mainz fell just one spot shy of promotion in 2007-2008 season and are currently on top of the Budesliga 2 table. Mainz took part in the top German division as recently as the 2006-2007 season.

If Marshall does join Mainz, he would step into a very solid defense. The Mainz backline has allowed only 17 goals through 16 matches.

Marshall would not be the only American defender in Germany’s second division either. Gregg Berhalter (1860 Munich) and Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock) both already play for Budesliga 2 teams.

Mainz has some history with American players. In 2002 midfielder Grover Gibson signed with the club on a two-year deal, but moved on to a lower level team after only four matches.

If Marshall transfers to Europe in January, he will be the second MLS Defender of the Year to move overseas this offseason. The 2007 award winner, Michael Parkhurst, is going to be announced as the newest member of Danish side F.C. Nordsjaelland on Tuesday.

--Allen Ramsey,