Colorado Rapids have signed the third Designated Player in franchise history by acquiring experienced international striker Kevin Doyle, pending the receipt of his P-1 visa, ITC and medical. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 31-year-old, currently at Wolverhampton Wanderers, has enjoyed a high-caliber career in English football since joining Reading in 2005, scoring 92 goals in 357 appearances overall.
He has played in the Premier League this season and, having amassed 61 caps with 14 goals, remains a crucial part of Republic of Ireland side.
“I am delighted and very excited to be moving to the Colorado Rapids,” said Doyle.
“With so many great players moving to MLS to join up with the great American talent already there, it's a great time to play in this league.
“Sporting Director Pádraig Smith, President Tim Hinchey, along with Technical Director Paul Bravo and Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni have impressed me with their ambition and vision for the club. And Colorado is a great place to bring up a family.
“I know from talking to Robbie Keane that MLS is a great league to play in and I look forward to being another top Irish player there.
“I will be sad to leave Wolves, a truly great club that I've had the privilege to play for. I will always be grateful to the fans for their support; it is they who make Molineux such a special place.
“To be involved in the current squad that is on an exciting run is now my only focus, as it would mean so much to me to see us get back to the Premier League.”
Doyle scored 19 goals in his first season with Reading as they won promotion to the Premier League from the Championship in a campaign that saw them lose only two games.
There were also personal awards for Doyle that year. He won the Championship Fans’ Player of the Season, the Reading Player of the Season and was voted into the Championship team of the Season.
In the Premier League the following season, he scored 13 goals despite missing two months with injury and was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award but lost out to Cesc Fabregas. Reading were relegated in 2008-09 but, back in the Championship, Doyle hit 18 goals as they narrowly missed out on an immediate return by losing the Play-Off Final to Burnley.
That summer, Doyle returned to the Premier League by being transferred to Wolves. He enjoyed three further seasons in the English top-flight but the team suffered successive relegations in 2013 and 2014.
However Doyle was loaned out to QPR last season and scored twice in nine Championship games, a run that culminated in him starting the Play-Off final victory over Derby at Wembley. Earlier this season, he was loaned to Crystal Palace, featuring in three Premier League games, one League Cup and one FA Cup tie, scoring one goal. In recent weeks he has been back in the Wolves side as they bid to return to the Premier League.
“Kevin’s track record speaks for itself,” said Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni. “We are confident that he will add quality to the side with his own play but his intelligence, experience and professionalism will also bring the best out of others.
“As we continue to build for the future, Kevin will help us maximize our potential both on and off the field.”
“We are truly excited to add Kevin to our roster,” added Paul Bravo, VP of Soccer Operations and Technical Director. “We believe he can bring a great deal of experience to our squad having played in the Premier League and at the highest level of international football.
“We really believe that he will be a difference-maker for us over the course of the next three seasons. His ability to help us in all areas of the offense will be invaluable.
“Kevin has signed a two-and-a-half year contract which will begin on July 1 with a club option for 2018. He is currently involved in a very close promotion race with Wolverhampton Wanderers and we look forward to him joining us in the near future.”
Full name: Kevin Doyle
Height: 6’ 0”
Weight: 179 lbs
Birth Date: 9-18-1983
Previous clubs: St. Patrick’s Athletic, Cork City, Reading, Wolverhampton Wanderers