The Colorado Rapids really struggled to score late in the 2014 season. This year, their 10 goals are tied for the fewest in the Western Conference. Thus, in the weeks preceding Wednesday’s matchup with Sounders FC, the Rapids made some roster moves in hopes of fixing their offensive issues.
One of the club’s recent acquisitions was veteran striker Kevin Doyle, who played alongside former Sounders FC goalkeeper and current broadcaster Marcus Hahnemann for six years in England. The two spent four seasons as teammates at Reading F.C. and played integral roles in the club’s first-ever promotion to the English Premier League in 2006.
“That was where both of us really made a name for ourselves. And then we both ended up at Wolves and had a couple of really good seasons there,” Hahnemann said. “He’s a really good friend of mine. His wife was really good friends with my wife – We hung out with those guys a lot. He’s one of the better friends that I still keep in contact with from my time in England.”
Following the 2009-10 season, both Hahnemann and Doyle signed for newly promoted club Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. Doyle remained there until recently joining the Rapids, while Hahnemann spent two seasons with Wolves before playing for Everton in his final year in England.
Colorado’s third-ever Designated Player, Doyle tallied 92 goals during his 10 seasons in the top leagues of England, leading the Premier League in goals scored via headers in 2007. The 31-year-old also has 61 caps and 14 goals for the Republic of Ireland.
Just one member of the Rapids has scored multiple goals this season. Having watched Doyle play for half a dozen years, Hahnemann believes his former teammate can be a difference-maker right away for Colorado, especially on set pieces.
“He’s not one of those guys that is going to out-jump somebody, but he gets in position so early and just uses his body,” Hahnemann said. “When he gets in position so early, it makes it really difficult for someone else to win the ball. …From what I’ve seen in the past, he has a huge impact on the team every time he steps on the field.
“He’s one of those guys that, for myself, made my job so easy. No matter where I put the ball, he was going to win it. He’s not super big, but he’ll make runs into a channel, he’ll chase lost causes and he uses his body so well. He causes defenders to not win the ball properly, even when he doesn’t win it. He’s just a great all-around player.”
Doyle made his MLS debut as a substitute in last weekend’s win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC and could start for the first time Wednesday night. The match is set to kick off at 7:00 p.m. from CenturyLink Field with local television coverage on JOEtv.