Until the day that Marvell Wynne joined the Colorado Rapids on the eve of the 2010 season opener, he had never played center back. But ever since then, that's the only position he's played. Until this year.
Wynne has started all three matches on the right side of the defense so far. And he's liking his return to the outside.
"Yes, surprisingly so," Wynne told ColoradoRapids.com on Tuesday. "I thought once I went to center back that I wouldn't want to go anywhere else that involved any more running. But being back on the right kind of brought back some old memories. I feel that Atiba (Harris) and I can make pretty good combos where I do some damage and get a couple crosses in during games."
Pareja entered the offseason without his two outside backs from 2012. His only defensive pick up was center back Diego Calderon.
But the second-year coach knew he had versatile options to utilize at the back positions in Wynne and right-sided midfielder Brian Mullan, who has started all three games on the left side of the defense.
"I have to give (Wynne and Mullan) credit because they are improving and getting more solid," Pareja said of the two players that converted positions. "With Marvell, I think he's getting more comfortable. As the games come he will add more to his game, coming out and being an option for crossing and being attacking minded."
Wynne admits he still has the mindset of a defender, and he also agrees with Pareja that he wants to help out offensively, too.
"Right now I think the biggest thing I have to work on is my comfort level receiving the ball with a little pressure on me and dribbling at players," Wynne said. "I didn't have that pressure so tight on me at center back. But now going against players, going to my right, going to my left, I think that's all going to be beneficial."
The offense will come, but for now Pareja is satisfied that Wynne has solidified the right side, at least defensively.
"We all know that Marvell will do the job defensively, and he's a solid defender, for sure," Pareja said. "We're pleased with what we have seen."