The Colorado Rapids are hoping it’s easier to score in Major League Soccer than it is in the English Championship, and that’s quite a risk.
New Designated Player and Republic of Ireland striker Kevin Doyle, 31, is Stateside, having scored a total of six goals in the past two seasons across three English clubs.
For those who draw the conclusion that MLS is a significant step down from England’s top few tiers — aside from the Premier League, I find that foolish — signing Doyle should be no concern for the Rapids. They’ve captured an international who’s played in the Premier League recently, so good stuff.
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But for those with a more discerning eye, concern is right around the corner. Prolific in the Championship, Doyle moved to Wolverhampton in 2009. He put a respectable 18 goals in three Premier League seasons for Wolves, but then the goals dropped off significantly.
Since 2013, here are his numbers:
Wolves (League One, 2013/14) — three goals in 25 matches
QPR (Championship, 2013/14) — two goals in 12 matches
Wolves (Championship, 2014/15) — no goals in six matches
Crystal Palace (Premier League, 2014/15) — one goal in five matches
While he hasn’t been the focal point or played as consistently as you’d like, those numbers should be disconcerting. Back when the league was viewed as a retirement home for international veterans — whether you agreed with that or not — maybe Doyle’s a DP.
And this isn’t to say he won’t reap the rewards of playing with Dillon Powers and company, but it’s a bit of a head scratcher. Yes, Doyle’s Ireland pal Robbie Keane has a similar game and has succeeded, but Doyle’s never been Keane’s peer as a dominant striker on the highest stake.
What say you? Will Doyle make it work in MLS, or is he not quite DP material?