Marvell Wynne was the No. 1 MLS draft choice in 2006. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)

By Michael Lewis Editor

Defender Marvell Wynne, the first overall pick by the MetroStars in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft, announced his retirement, slightly a year after surgery to correct a heart problem.

The 31-year-old Wynne played with four Major League Soccer sides, including the Red Bulls (MetroStars), Toronto FC, Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes.

Prior to the 2017, Wynne signed with the Quakes, but a preseason physical disclosed a heart defect that wound up ending his career.

“After 13 years in MLS and 11 years actually playing I am announcing my retirement from professional soccer,” Wynne said in a video he posted on social media.

“After my heart surgery, my surgeon and my cardiologist thought I could return with no problems but unfortunately they were in the minority when it came to the other doctors.

“So I have been going in and training on my own, but it’s for my own physical benefit because actual playing professional soccer again I’m actually at a high risk of another injury.”

The son of former Major League Baseball player Marvell Wynne, was drafted by the MetroStars and coach Mo Johnston in January 2006, but never played a game for that the club because it was sold by Anschutz Entertainment Group to Austrian energy drink producer Red Bull.

He had lightning speed down the right flank, which should have made him dangerous. But Wynne had problems distributing and crossing the ball (fortunately when he overlapped just a wee bit too far, Wynne’s blazing speed enabled him to motor down the wing and defend his position), much to the disappointment of then coach Bruce Arena, who traded Wynne to Toronto FC for a second-round pick in the 2008 SuperDraft and a partial allocation.

Wynne eventually was dealt by Toronto to the Colorado Rapids in 2010 for Nick LaBrocca and a third-round selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft and went on anchor the Rapids’ 2010 run to the MLS Cup title. Wynne, who made his first international appearance for the U.S. in Copa America in 2007, started for the U.S. on the 2008 Olympic team.

After Colorado declined, he entered the 2014 MLS re-entry draft and was selected by the San Jose Earthquakes in stage two.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at