April 25, 2007 Toronto FC interview with Marvell Wynne (from Toronto Star)

Wynne brings speed to settle TFC defence

Former top draft pick among the fastest in MLS

Apr 25, 2007 04:30 AM
Morgan Campbell

Marvell Wynne's mom knows best.

The son of a former Pittsburgh Pirate also named Marvell Wynne, Wynne grew up outside San Diego and, naturally, played a little baseball. But before he ever laid hands on a bat, his mom had already steered him toward soccer.

On a whim.

Wynne says he was 3 years old when he and his mom were watching a family friend play in a children's league and she noticed one of the teams was missing a player. She rushed her son on to the pitch and he's been there ever since.

"I didn't want to, but she said, `Go out and play,' so I went out and played," said Wynne, who turns 21 next month. "I played baseball later and after soccer it was just too slow for me."

Wynne is a former first overall draft pick in Major League Soccer and tonight makes his debut with Toronto FC as his new squad travels to Kansas City to play the Wizards.

Wynne, who arrived last week in a trade with the New York Red Bulls, was acquired to help stabilize a defence that surrendered six goals in Toronto's first two games.

Kansas City has scored five goals in three games a win and two losses and star striker Eddie Johnson already has a goal and two assists.

Toronto head coach Mo Johnston thinks Wynne is quick enough to impede Kansas City's explosive attack.

"He certainly has the athleticism, the speed, the strength and the ability to get up and down the line," Johnston told MLSnet.com earlier this week. "He's still a young man and he's got a lot to learn, but he's a talented young player."

Wynne says his speed is his chief asset. Some MLS observers have called him the league's fastest player. He ran the 400 metres in 48.1 seconds as a high school senior in 2004, but the numbers don't tell the whole story.

At a district track and field final that year, Wynne overcame nearly a 50-metre deficit as the anchor on his 4x400-metre relay team to win the race.

Despite his soccer success, Wynne still calls that race the highlight of his athletic life and keeps a video of it with him and watches it before every game.

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