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By ESPN Staff

Crew's Marshall selected MLS defender of the year

NEW YORK -- The Columbus Crew's Chad Marshall has been selected Major League Soccer's defender of the year for the second straight season.

The league also announced Thursday that Alex Prus was voted the top referee and Greg Barkey was selected the top assistant referee.

Marshall, an All-Star this season, led a Columbus defense that gave up a franchise-record low 31 goals in the regular season -- trailing only Houston (26) and Seattle (29). The Crew (13-7-10) won their second straight Supporters' Shield trophy, given to the team with the best record in the regular season.

Marshall started all 18 games he played for Columbus, missing four while playing for the U.S. national team and six with a knee sprain at the end of the season.

The 25-year-old Marshall, selected second overall by Columbus in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft, joins Carlos Bocanegra (Chicago, 2002-03) and Robin Fraser (Los Angeles, 1999; Columbus, 2004) as the only two-time defender of the year winners. Marshall led the voting ahead of Seattle's Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Houston's Geoff Cameron, the other finalists.

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