After 16 years, Kevin Doyle announces retirement from professional soccer

Forward Kevin Doyle announced his retirement from professional soccer on Thursday, culminating an impressive 16-year playing career in Ireland, England and most recently, the United States with the Colorado Rapids Soccer Club.

“Kevin is both a terrific player and a terrific person,” said Rapids Sporting Director and Interim General Manager Pádraig Smith. “His contributions on the field have been invaluable, and off-the-field he has been a wonderful influence on the locker room as well as the community as a whole. His efforts will be sorely missed.”

This season, Doyle had appeared in 25 of the first 26 regular season contests for the Rapids, before suffering a concussion in the first half of the September 2 match against LA Galaxy. Prior to the injury, Doyle ranked second on the team in goals (5) and assists (4).

Doyle, 34, arrived in Commerce City mid-way through the 2015 campaign as the club’s third Designated Player in franchise history. In his two-and-a-half seasons with the club, Doyle appeared in 71 regular season matches, notching 16 goals and eight assists.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time with the Colorado Rapids and playing in MLS has been a fantastic experience,” said Doyle. “The staff, players and fans here have made me, and more importantly, my family feel at home in Denver and we will miss it.”

The Irish forward was an instrumental part of a Rapids team that fell one game short of reaching the 2016 MLS Cup, a season in which Doyle found the back of the net six times in regular season play, before adding another goal in the first-leg of the Western Conference Championship against Seattle Sounders FC.

Prior to joining Major League Soccer, Doyle enjoyed a highly productive ten-year stint in English football, tallying a combined 92 goals in 357 appearances for Reading, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace.

Doyle began his professional career in Ireland, playing for St. Patrick’s Athletic and Cork City. It was at Cork City where Doyle’s career shot to prominence, scoring 25 goals in 76 appearances.

At the international stage, Doyle was named Football Association of Ireland’s Young Player of the Year in 2006, as well as Player of the Year in 2009. In all, he amassed 63 caps for the Republic of Ireland, tallying 14 goals across all competitions for his country.