ROSENHEIM, Germany -- Marvin Torvic’s career has been a bit of footballing buffet, with each taste enriching the native of French Guiana.
The 26-year-old center back was brought up in the United States youth system and has played professionally in Spain, France, England, Finland and, now, Germany.
He’s taken all those experiences back to French Guiana, which is enjoying one of its best spells as a footballing nation.
“Of course every country has a different style of football,” Torvic told CONCACAF.com. “In Spain and France you have to be technically good. In England, it’s a lot of long balls and Finland was a mixture of both basically.”
At two-years-old, Torvic started kicking a soccer ball. He’d go to matches of US Sinnamary -- the local team – and dream of pulling on its jersey.
“A lot of them had chances to go [oversees] and play pro, but the one that broke out was Jean-Claude Darcheville, who played for Lorient, Bordeaux and Rennes,” Torvic said. “Growing up I was looking at those players.”
That day would come, but first Torvic -- at the age of eight -- would move to Washington, D.C., to join his mother. When the family moved to South Carolina, he attended South Aiken High School, before playing at Newberry College.
“That’s why I speak English probably better than I speak French,” Torvic joked.
Growing up, Torvic played numerous positions, including defensive center and attacking midfield.
“All those different positions helped me as a defender,” he commented. “I’m not just a defender who just defends. Technically, I can play at the same time too. It definitely helped.”
Torvic played with the FC Lorient reserves in France and English sides Northampton Town and Maidenhead United. After a short stint in Spain, he landed with PS Kemi in Finland, playing for former West Ham United defender Tommy Taylor.
“He was a center back just like me so I learned a lot,” Torvic noted.
The 6-foot-4 Torvic is currently with TSV 1860 Rosenheim in Germany.
“It’s going really good,” Torvic said. “The team likes me a lot and me being one of the more experienced players, I have to be more of a leader on and off the field. It’s going to help me with the next team I go to.”
Torvic pointed out that his teammates are learning a bit more about French Guiana and CONCACAF competitions.
“They’re getting to know about the Caribbean Cup and the Gold Cup,” he said. “They knew about Copa America.”
Now Torvic is hoping to lead French Guiana – the fifth-place finisher in the 2014 Caribbean Cup -- to the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the first time. They will square off against 2014 FIFA World Cup participant Honduras in the two-legged playoff in March for the last spot in the competition.
“Two years ago we weren’t known as we are now,” Torvic finished. “We’re doing better and better slowly. People can say they’re a World Cup team and we’re just starting to get known, but I’m always optimistic. In football, anything can happen.”
Torvic should know. He has the resume to prove it.