Sounders FC

Scoring change gives Marshall another chance to celebrate

Three days after celebrating the first time, Tyrone Marshall got to celebrate his first goal of the season again Tuesday – officially and finally.

The Sounders FC veteran had seemed to head in a free kick from Freddie Ljungberg for Seattle’s second goal in an eventual 2-2 draw at Real Salt Lake on Saturday. Marshall instantly raised his arms in celebration and was congratulated by his teammates.

However, within minutes, it was ruled to have been an own goal scored by Real Salt Lake midfielder Nat Borchers.

This week, Major League Soccer reversed that ruling and credited Marshall with his first goal of the season and third as a Sounder.

Marshall said the league got it right.

“I thought it was my goal in the first place,” he said. “Nat don’t want to take blame for an own goal. No defender wants to take blame: ‘Yeah, he scored it.’ It looks better on the other guy – it’s one of those things. … They put it down on paper now. It’s in my stats sheet. I wouldn’t be celebrating if we lost, to be honest. But we got a point.”

Marshall learned of the scoring change during coach Sigi Schmid’s usual post-training address to the team.

Those watching from the sideline couldn’t hear what Schmid said, but it was easy enough to guess when Marshall spun away from the group, extended his arms and pumped his fist.

“He was excited about it,” Schmid said. “I think Freddie Ljungberg was excited to have the assist.”

Ljungberg actually had his sights set higher.

“Now I’m going to say Tyrone didn’t touch it, so it was my goal,” he joked before acknowledging that he believed Marshall had headed it in.

“I thought Tyrone got it. That’s what I saw in the way he celebrated, so that’s what I go for. For me, the most important thing is the delivery – that’s what I concentrate on. It came in the right place, and Tyrone did his job.”

The Sounders had worked on set pieces in training the previous week after their 1-0 home loss to New York. Ljungberg said the club had limited the number of spots where he would try to send the ball, and then it was up to his teammates to get to the right spot.

Everyone involved expressed satisfaction that the play unfolded properly, regardless of how it found its way into the goal.

“It was certainly a well-placed kick,” Schmid said. “It was in the right area. Tyrone’s right there. So if it went off Borchers’ head with pressure from Tyrone or if it would have gone off Tyrone’s head, the ball was well played and the runs were good, and that’s the reason we got the goal.”

It was the Sounders’ fourth goal of the season – one each by Brad Evans, Fredy Montero, Steve Zakuani and Marshall.

Marshall was happy to be credited with the goal, but that’s not how the 2009 Sounders defensive player of the year judges his contributions.

“My category is making sure that we keep clean sheets in the back,” he said. “To get on the scoring sheet, obviously, it helps put your team in a situation to win the game. We were in that situation, and it was a shame we didn’t close shop in the back to get the win.”

Marshall didn’t get credit for a game-winning goal because RSL scored on a corner kick during the final minute of stoppage time.

The Sounders (1-1-1) return to action at noon Saturday against Kansas City (2-0-0) at Qwest Field.

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808