Derby County forward Conor Doyle may be an option for second half of the season

MLS and Derby County are in negotiations over a potential loan of Doyle to MLS

Conor Doyle training with the Colorado Rapids

Photo Credit: 
ColoradoRapids.com

With the international transfer window opening up on July 9, one player that could be an option for the Colorado Rapids is American forward Conor Doyle.

The 21-year-old has been training with the Rapids during his offseason from Derby County in the English Championship. When he re-signed with the Rams in May, the club expressed interest in loaning the Texas-native to get him playing time. Derby manager Nigel Clough recently re-iterated those wishes to the media in England.

Doyle likes the thought of staying with the Rapids.

"The guys have been great, really accepting of me and I've really enjoyed my time so far," Doyle told ColoradoRapids.com. "It excites me - the idea of playing, in general, would excite any player. But I've been here for a month, and getting to know these guys, it would be fun to get to stay here and help this organization."

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Colorado Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo told ColoradoRapids.com that the League and Derby County are in negotiations over a potential loan of Doyle to MLS.

If an agreement is reached, what remains to be seen is which MLS Player Acquisition Rule would apply to Doyle, who has represented the U.S. at the Under-20 level.

If Doyle enters MLS through the Weighted Lottery process - as many other former youth internationals have - then, according to the MLS Player Acquisition rules posted on MLSsoccer.com, the Rapids might not be eligible to participate since they won the rights to Charles Eloundou via the same lottery in March. The public rules state that if a team wins the rights to one player via the Lottery, they cannot participate in another lottery until all teams select a player via the lottery or unless all other teams pass on another lottery-eligible player.

However, if Doyle is made available through a Waiver Draft, the Rapids would be eligible to participate. The Waiver Draft is determined by points per game, and if a team wins the rights to a player in a given year via the Waiver Draft, that team would be moved to the bottom of the order for future eligible players during the season. Teams may also opt out of Waiver Drafts.

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Last week, Jared Jeffrey, another former U.S. Under-20 player, was claimed by D.C. United via the Waiver Draft after all teams declined to take part in a Lottery for his rights, according to MLSsoccer.com.

Rapids coach Oscar Pareja is patiently waiting to see how things work out with Doyle.

"Conor has done well," Pareja said. "The first few weeks he had a period of adaptation, but he's a serious player who works hard and knows what the job requires here. I see him with a lot of desire and that's important for the group. At this moment they're trying to work things out with the League and Derby. He's a player that could give us a hand."