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Wahl's MLS journey continues

Recent trade to Colorado makes three teams in eight months for veteran defender who once starred at Newport Harbor High.

July 30, 2012|By Barry Faulkner
  • Tyson Wahl, a Newport Harbor High product, competes with the Montreal Impact, who traded him to the Colorado Rapids earlier this month.
Tyson Wahl, a Newport Harbor High product, competes with… (Daily Pilot )

For Tyson Wahl, the suitcase is always half full.

Ever the optimist, the seven-year Major Soccer League veteran is thankful to have experienced his dream of playing professional soccer. But playing now for his third different team in eight months, the fourth franchise of his career, he admits that logistics can sometimes be his least-forgiving opponent.

"My fiancée and I have gotten pretty good at packing up boxes and moving around," said Wahl, a reserve defender for the Colorado Rapids, who acquired him in a trade on July 13.

Wahl came to Colorado from the Montreal Impact, who traded for him in November, following three seasons with the Seattle Sounders. The Sounders plucked the former UC Berkeley standout in the 2008 expansion draft from the Kansas City Wizards, who selected him 19th overall out of college in 2006.

Immediately after joining the Rapids, Wahl embarked on, what else, a week-long road trip. Now "home" in Colorado, he is living in a hotel and trying to relocate from Montreal, while reviving a career that has hit an unexpected lull.

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Wahl had his best professional season in 2011, starting 22 games for the Sounders, netting his only MLS goal and collecting two of his three career assists.

Things began well in Montreal, where he started the first 11 matches of the season. But with a 3-5-3 record in those matches, Montreal elected to shake up the lineup, leaving Wahl on the bench.

"A couple of weeks later, I found out they were looking to trade me," Wahl, 28, said. "The coach informed me they were looking to move me and three days later ..."

Wahl said he was excited about the move to Colorado, as he and fiancee Allison Illingworth, who are planning a December wedding in Laguna Beach, both shifted more than 1,600 miles closer to their families in Newport Beach.

But while he had played in two matches heading into his first home game with the Rapids on Saturday, Wahl said coaches have told him his current role is to provide depth off the bench.

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