When Nick LaBrocca and Marvell Wynne where traded for each other on the eve of the 2010 season opener, neither player had much time to adjust and settle into their new cities. So the two talked and decided that instead of looking for their own lodging in Toronto and Denver, respectively, that they would just move into each other's vacated places.
Last summer Wynne moved out of LaBrocca's place in downtown Denver and into his own, setting the stage for LaBrocca to move back into his condo that he had left three years ago.
"It's definitely exciting," LaBrocca told ColoradoRapids.com upon signing with the Rapids this past week. "There's a lot of people who supported me while I was here, and even when I left. So it's going to be exciting to be able to get back and show the people my appreciation even more by being on the field again."
Like many others, LaBrocca's time in Toronto was short lived. By 2011 he was at Chivas USA, where he became an MLS All-Star after excelling as a two-way midfielder.
"I think I'm a little more well-rounded," LaBrocca said. "I can put in an effort on both sides of the ball, can be a little creative and can also give a defensive effort, too. Those are the roles that I'm extremely comfortable in now, and fully comfortable with even if that changes during the flow of the game."
The 28-year-old could be counted on to be that central player that plays along-side a more defensive-minded midfielder, willing to work to win the ball back while also able to push forward and distribute, or even score.
Drafted by the Rapids in 2007, LaBrocca returns to a team with many new faces since he departed. Only Pablo Mastroeni, Drew Moor, Matt Pickens, and Stew Ceus remain from his last season in Colorado, 2009.
Since playing only two games in his rookie year, LaBrocca has played in at least 28 games for the past six years, which has prepared him to be one a veteran voice on a young Rapids side.
"The experience helps," he added. "And also the chance to develop as a player and as a person was huge."