COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Thursday, August 8, 2013) – The Colorado Rapids announced on Thursday that the club has signed 24-year-old Panamanian striker Gabriel Torres as the first Designated Player in club history. Torres, who tied for the most goals in the recent CONCACAF Gold Cup with five, will be eligible to join the Rapids pending receipt of his P-1 work visa. He has Designated Player status due to a combination of salary and acquisition costs, and he will occupy an International Spot on Colorado’s roster.
“Signing Gabriel Torres as our club’s first Designated Player is a historic moment, but it’s most exciting because he’s the right player to help this team win,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo. “We want to thank the senior management at Kroenke Sports & Entertainment and Stan Kroenke for their support in bringing Torres to Colorado. We’re excited for him to join the squad.”
“Torres is dynamic and can score goals, and will give us a boost as we enter the final ten games of the regular season,” said Rapids Head Coach Oscar Pareja. “We had been looking at him since before the Gold Cup, but that tournament showed everybody what he is capable of. It’s great for the club that Torres is able to join us, and I am eager to see him on the field with the boys.”
“Throughout this process, Paul Bravo worked tirelessly and he deserves a lot of credit for making this transfer a reality,” said Rapids President Tim Hinchey. “Torres is an important part of our goal of bringing another MLS Cup to our fans, and he can also help us continue to grow the sport in Colorado. This is a big day for the Rapids and MLS.”
“I’m happy to join the Colorado Rapids, and I will give my all to this club,” Torres said. “Coach [Pareja] has had confidence in me from the beginning. He told me about the team and the project, and that got my attention. It’s why I’m here, looking to do the right things. I’ll give my best to this organization and look to score many goals to help us win games.”
A native of Panama City, Panama, Torres scored five goals in the recent CONCACAF Gold Cup, which tied for the most goals in the tournament with Landon Donovan and Chris Wondolowski of the United States National Team. He scored both goals against Mexico in a 2-1 win in the group stage, assisted on the only goal in a 1-0 win over Mexico in the semifinal of the tournament, and also started in Panama’s 1-0 loss to the U.S. in the final. He has a total of seven goals for Panama in his 40 appearances representing his country.
Torres began his professional career with Panamanian club Chepo F.C., and has played for San Francisco F.C. - also in Panama - as well as La Equidad, América de Cali, and Atlético Huila in Colombia. Most recently, he starred for Zamora FC of Venezuela’s first division during the 2012-13 season, where he led the team to their first championship, with 21 goals.
The Rapids travel to Los Angeles this week to take on Chivas USA on Sunday, August 11 at 9 p.m. MT, with a live broadcast on Altitude featuring play-by-play from Richard Fleming and color commentary from Marcelo Balboa. Coverage starts with the pregame show at 8:30 p.m. The Rapids return to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday, August 17 at 7:30 p.m. MT to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps; for more information, click here or call 303-825-GOAL.
Full Name: Gabriel Arturo Torres Tejada
Born: October 31, 1988
Hometown: Panama City, Panama
Last Team: Zamora FC (VEN)
Acquired: Signed by the Rapids on August 8, 2013 as a Designated Player.