TORONTO – Marvell Wynne arrived in Toronto on Thursday with a new team, but he couldn’t escape the attention of some old friends.
The Colorado Rapids defender was greeted instantly and warmly by a host of media members who covered his days with Toronto FC, where he spent three formative seasons before he packed his bags for Denver in March.
Wynne was shipped out of Toronto last spring in exchange for defender Nick LaBrocca, but it seems, for now at least, that Wynne and the Rapids got the better end of one of the bigger trades of the 2010 season.
Wynne, after all, is on the brink of his first career MLS Cup, while Toronto FC parted ways with former coach Preki before the end of a disappointing season. Wynne and the Rapids face FC Dallas in the MLS Cup at BMO Field in Toronto on Sunday (8:30 pm ET, ESPN, Galavisión, TSN2).
[inline_node:306126]“[The trade] doesn’t feel just like a couple of months ago,” said Wynne, who started a career-high 27 regular-season games with the Rapids this season and all three of the team’s postseason games. “Being with this team, we’ve gone through a lot and it’s been a long season. I’m glad it’s ending up right here.”
Wynne’s biggest asset in Toronto was his pace on the wing, where he carved a niche as a speedy and reliable outside defender. He lobbied that reputation into a starting spot on the 2008 US Olympic Team and a spot in the hearts of TFC fans, but the Rapids promptly paired Wynne with Drew Moor at center back upon his arrival in Colorado.
It worked for the most part, as the Rapids allowed 32 goals this season, good enough for second best in franchise history. The defense also boasts two shutouts in three postseason games heading into the MLS Cup, a place they haven’t been since 1997.
“It was actually pretty seamless, being with Drew and Kosuke Kimura on my right,” Wynne said. “They talked me through it. My speed’s not used for offense too much anymore, so I’m just running back these days, and I’m liking it back there.”
Although Wynne was reportedly a casualty of a sour relationship with Preki before the former Chivas USA boss had even coached a game in Toronto, time and success appear to have healed all superficial wounds. Wynne is all smiles now, on the doorstep of an impressive turn of fortune that he says he never expected.
“Weird … a little bit,” Wynne said of his return to Toronto. “But being with this team and knowing what we’ve done, I’m not mad about it.”
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