The Colorado Rapids have signed their first ever Designated Player, inking 24-year-old Panamanian international Gabriel Torres. The striker will be able to play for the Rapids as soon as he gets his visa.
Torres was one of the stars of the 2013 Gold Cup, tying for the tournament lead in goals with five. That included a two-goal showing against Mexico in the opener, which set the stage for the Canaleros' run to the final.
Torres' play in the competition piqued the interest of multiple clubs around the world, the Rapids' included and while rumors of his signing with Colorado continued for weeks, it looked like interest from a team in France and another in Mexico would scuttle his move to MLS, but the Rapids were able to finalize the deal and sign him as their first DP.
Colorado is having an outstanding season under Oscar Pareja, who has committed to playing young players and has gotten results out of them. They are in the midst of a seven-game unbeaten streak and are sitting in second place in the Western Conference, but they have the fewest goals of any team currently occupying a playoff spot in the conference. Torres should help that, giving the Rapids a bonafide scorer up top that can take them from young upstarts to legitimate MLS Cup contenders.
The Rapids said his DP status comes as combination of his salary and acquisition costs. They also confirmed that he would take up an international spot on the team's roster.