Wahl adds versatility, depth to struggling Rapids defense

Tyson Wahl crosses the ball in Toronto

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Colorado Rapids shored up their back line Friday, picking up defender Tyson Wahl from the Montreal Impact for an international roster slot.

The acquisition of the left-footed Wahl gives the Rapids protection for center backs Marvell Wynne and Drew Moor, as well as cover at left back for Luis Zapata.

“He’s a solid left defender who’s going to bring us depth in the field,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja told MLSsoccer.com Friday. “I know Tyson has experience, he’s a winner and he’s a guy who wants to work.”

The 28-year-old Wahl appeared in 11 games with Montreal this season, starting all of them, but appeared to fall out of favor under coach Jesse Marsch in recent weeks, starting just one league match in the Impact’s last eight games, likely paving the way for the move.

Pareja said the versatile Wahl could play both center and left back, which could potentially be a boost to the Rapids, who have struggled defensively in recent weeks.

“It’s always good to have some depth,” Wynne told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. “We have been getting scored on quite a bit so it’ll provide some more competition which is always good. Maybe have guys train a little harder and have guys really fight for a spot.”

Meanwhile, the Rapids may not be done yet in the transfer market. While declining to say where, Pareja said his side, who have lost four of their last five games, are considering additional depth options.

“We’re still exploring,” Pareja said.

Earlier in the week, Pareja told the Denver Post that the Rapids were chasing an Ecuadorian midfielder, and midfield depth could be on the radar for Colorado.

As for the guy the Rapids already brought in, Wahl brings plenty of experience – he’s had 82 league appearances since making his MLS debut in 2006 – and is a player his new teammates already know plenty about.

“He’s got great skill and he’s a big dude and he can hit those long balls,” Wynne told MLSsoccer.com Friday. “He’s actually a pretty dangerous asset to have even as a defender, so I’m excited to get him into the squad.”

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.