Kevin Doyle

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Rapids, Ireland forward Doyle retires due to concussions

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Colorado Rapids forward Kevin Doyle says he is retiring because of repeated concussions.

Doyle is from Ireland and has played 16 years in Europe and in Major League Soccer. He released a statement via social media Thursday.

“This year it has been clear to me that heading the ball was becoming problematic and causing me to have repeated headaches,” Doyle wrote (FULL STATEMENT HERE). “Two concussions this season and numerous other over the years have made this more concerning.”

Doyle said after consulting with doctors he decided to retire rather than risk permanent damage.

The 34-year-old has 16 goals and eight assists in 71 matches with the Rapids since joining the team in 2015. Before that he played 10 years in Europe, including stints with the Wolverhampton Wanderers, Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace.

He was also a regular with the Irish national team, making 63 appearances and scoring 14 goals.

“I’m privileged and proud to have fulfilled my childhood dream of playing for my country,” Doyle wrote. “Everything else was a bonus.”

Doyle’s latest concussion came on Sept. 2 against LA Galaxy and he hasn’t played since. He had five goals and four assists in 25 matches this season.

“Kevin is both a terrific player and a terrific person,” said Rapids Interim General Manager Padraig Smith said in a statement. “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.”

Former MLS standout and current broadcaster Taylor Twellman, who was forced to retire from soccer because of concussions, posted a message to Doyle on Twitter.

The Rapids have struggled this season and were eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday night with a 2-0 loss at Dallas.

MLS Cup Playoffs: Seattle Sounders 2-1 Colorado Rapids

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
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The game in 100 words (or less): Nicolas Lodeiro — and, by extension, his Seattle Sounders — has been the story of the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs (and the final three months of the regular season). The Uruguayan playmaker has taken the league by storm since his late-July debut, and showed once again on Tuesday, in the Sounders’ Western Conference finals first-leg victory over the Colorado Rapids, that you can’t stop Nico; you can only hope to contain him and limit the damage. Even the Rapids, whose league-leading defense conceded a paltry 32 goals in 34 regular-season games, couldn’t stifle Lodeiro’s impact, as they coughed up an early 1-0 lead and fell to the Sounders, 2-1 on the night. Kevin Doyle put the visitors ahead after 13 minutes, grabbing a vital away goal in the process, but Jordan Morris equalized six minutes later, and Lodeiro completed the comeback just after the hour mark. In total, a 2-1 first-leg result will give the Rapids plenty of hope ahead of Sunday’s second leg, though they gave no indication they won’t again be undone by Lodeiro’s genius with the West’s spot in MLS Cup 2016 on the line.

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Three moments that mattered

13′ — Doyle’s shot deflects wickedly, makes it 1-0 — That dummy. That dummy! Shkelzen Gashi, ladies and gentleman.

20′ — Morris slots home a rebound for 1-1 — Cristian Roldan’s shot smashed off the front of the post, but fell right to Morris, whose nose for the ball grows stronger and stronger with each passing day. Not an easy finish from that angle, either.

61′ — Burch trips Lodeiro; Lodeiro converts the PK — I’m not entirely sure what Marc Burch was playing at here — it’s not the ball, that’s for sure — but he managed to put his former team into the lead just after the hour mark.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Nicolas Lodeiro

Goalscorers: Doyle (13′), Morris (20′), Lodeiro (61′ – PK)

MLS Snapshot: Colorado Rapids 2-1 San Jose Earthquakes (video)

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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The game in 100 words (or less): By now, we know Colorado is for real, though it doesn’t feel any less surreal to see the Rapids controlling their own destiny in the race for the Supporters’ Shield. The Rapids remain unbeaten at home this season, and San Jose could only find a way past Tim Howard via penalty kick. Kevin Doyle scored twice in the win and could’ve had four on the night, and now Colorado needs only to equal or beat FC Dallas’ point total to win its first Supporters’ Shield. San Jose needs to win out and get massive help to have any hope of the playoffs.

Three moments that mattered

38′ — Look everyone, it’s a flying Irishman! — Look at the hold up play by second-year man Dominique Badji. The former Boston Terriers star sets the table for Colorado’s opener, and Kevin Doyle flies through the air to score before making a hilarious mess and comically-good recovery of a sliding celebration.

57′ — Howard guesses right, but Wondo wins — San Jose ties up the game, and keeps their hopes alive, with about the only way anyone’s beating Tim Howard these days: a PK.

73′ — PK equalizer for Doyle — The longtime Reading and Wolves man was feeling it tonight.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]

Men of the match: Doyle

Goalscorers: Doyle (38′, 73′); Wondolowski (57′)

MLS Snapshot: Crew SC 1-1 Rapids; NE Revs 2-0 Fire (video)

AP Photo/Steven Senne
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The game in 100 words (or less): The post-Kei Kamara era is underway in Columbus after Crew SC traded their scorer of 22 goals and arguer of penalty kick-taking duties this week. Without last year’s talisman, it was mostly more of the same from a disappointing Crew SC side that lacked the kind of pace and vigor that typified their run to MLS Cup 2015. The Colorado Rapids, meanwhile, came into Saturday night’s trip to MAPFRE Stadium having already played this week, thus more than happy to settle for an away point and extend their unbeaten run to seven games (six since the debut of Jermaine Jones). As such, the Rapids will finish the weekend right where they started — top of the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield race.

[ MORE: Previewing the weekend in MLS ]

Three Two moments that mattered

23′ — Mabwati blasts off to make it 1-0 — Harrison Afful did unbelievably well (especially for a full back) to remain composed, cut back to the inside and pick out the streaking Mabwati. The finish was no piece of cake, either.

55′ — Doyle heads home from Gashi’s corner kick — Crew SC have been the worst set-piece-defending side in MLS for going on three seasons now. They remain unfazed by their dubious designation.

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Man of the match: Shkelzen Gashi

Goalscorers: Mabwati (23′), Doyle (55′)

The game in 100 words (or less): The New England Revolution’s Kamara era got underway Saturday night as well, and it’s all positives on first return with the Revs knocking off the bottom-of-the-league Chicago Fire (7 points from nine games), 2-0 at Gillette Stadium. Kamara went straight into Jay Heaps’ starting lineup and was his typically active self on the night (six shots, four on target), though he failed to find the back of the net. Lee Nguyen and Femi Hollinger-Janzen took care of that, though, as the Revs broke their six-game winless skid with relative ease. The victory boosts the Revs (13 points from 12 games) up to sixth in the Eastern Conference, two points clear of Orlando City SC (who have three games in hand at this point. The Fire, meanwhile, remain rooted to 10th in the East and 20th in the Supporters’ Shield race.

[ MORE: Previewing the weekend in MLS ]

Three moments that mattered

22′ — Nguyen curls home to cap a set-piece routine — Note to opposition defenders: always know where Nguyen is. Or else…

52′ — Kamara’s header headed off (over?) the line — It’s impossible to tell from this angle, but Brandon Vincent looks to be inside the goal when he heads this ball back out, right?

84′ — Hollinger-Janzen heads home for 2-0 — Juan Agudelo chipped it to the back post, where Femi was waiting to apply the easy finish.

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Man of the match: Lee Nguyen

Goalscorers: Nguyen (22′), Hollinger-Janzen (84′)

MLS Snapshot: Colorado Rapids 2-1 Sporting Kansas City (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Not to sound any alarm bells or anything too quickly, but we need to have a talk about Sporting Kansas City. For a little over a month now, they’ve not exactly been great, and they’ve certainly not been dominant at any point of that 10-game stretch, which includes Saturday night’s 2-1 defeat to the Colorado Rapids. Sure, they’ve racked up a decent enough record over that timeframe (5W-1D-3L in all competitions), but a team can only overcome early deficits and win in spectacular fashion so often. It’s not a sustainable strategy over the course of a 34-game season. Roger Espinoza is a huge miss in the midfield, but the central unit is far from the only bunch worthy of blame. Set-piece defending has been borderline atrocious for some time now, and the full backs have been constant turnstiles as opposing wingers race bace unabated again and again. Peter Vermes navigated an injury crisis for a few months, but it’s safe to say it’s catching up to Sporting KC now. With Saturday’s loss, they could sit as low as fifth at the end of the weekend (40 points).

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Three moments that mattered

47′ — Dwyer hammers home after Nemeth weaves his way in — Krisztian Nemeth went on a dizzying, weaving run through the Rapids midfield, split three defenders and poked the ball into the path of Dom Dwyer, whose left-footed blast found the back of the net just inside Clint Irwin’s near post.

53′ — Figueroa benefits from a deflection, ties it back up — Someone forgot to pay attention to Maynor Figueroa, a two-time World Cup veteran, making the late, late, late-arriving run at the back post. When the ball arrived, Figueroa had a go, took the deflection off Graham Zusi in stride and used it to sneak under the crossbar at the far post.

76′ — Doyle rises up, heads home from close range — Step 1 to being a good defensive team: Mark the tall men inside the penalty area when a cross comes into the box. Sporting forgot to do this as Vicente Sanchez hit a floating ball to Kevin Doyle at the back post. Doyle, all 6-foot-nothing of him, headed the ball home with ease.

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Man of the match: Vicente Sanchez

Goalscorers: Dwyer (47′), Figueroa (53′), Doyle (76′)