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A Whole New Pitch
Edited by Mark Bechtel and Stephen Cannella
January 30, 2006
Not following in his father's footsteps has worked out well for the top MLS draft pick
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January 30, 2006

A Whole New Pitch

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Not following in his father's footsteps has worked out well for the top MLS draft pick

PLENTY OF KIDS find their dad's jobs boring, but Marvell Wynne has some explaining to do, since he wasn't excited that his father, also named Marvell, played outfield for the Pirates, Padres and Cubs over eight seasons. "There's not a lot of action," the younger Wynne says about his elder's game. "You try to hit a ball--maybe you hit it, maybe you don't. Otherwise you're just sitting around." Instead Marvell got into soccer after his mother volunteered him for an indoor team. He was a little apprehensive, probably because he was only three, but he stuck with it, and last Friday the MetroStars made him the first overall pick in the MLS draft.

Wynne, a right fullback at UCLA, had a solid freshman season for the Bruins in 2004, but his breakout came last summer at the World Youth Championships. The U.S. won the tournament's toughest group (which included Argentina and Germany) without conceding a goal. Suddenly Wynne, a solid defender with enough speed and skill to join in the attack--he set up the U.S. goal in a 1-0 win over Argentina--was a hot commodity. The 19-year-old spurned interest from teams in Germany, France and Belgium to return for another season at UCLA, after which he decided he was ready to turn pro. "He is a diamond," MetroStars general manager Alexi Lalas said.

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