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Colorado Rapids bolster already-potent attack by signing Gabriel Torres

Aug 8, 2013, 10:41 PM EDT

Cuba v Panama - 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Getty Images

After tearing up the competition in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Panama’s Gabriel Torres signed a Designated Player contract with the Colorado Rapids on Thursday. The signing came just hours before the Major League Soccer transfer window closed.

He will be classified as a Designated Player, the first in club history, due to a combination of salary and acquisition costs, the Rapids said in a press release.

“I’m happy to join the Colorado Rapids, and I will give my all to this club,” Torres said. “Coach [Oscar Pareja] has had confidence in me from the beginning. He told me about the team and the project, and that got my attention. It’s why I’m here — looking to do the right things. I’ll give my best to this organization and look to score many goals to help us win games.”

The 24-year-old Panama City native scored five goals in the Gold Cup, tying the United States’ Landon Donovan and Chris Wondolowski for the Golden Boot. After the tournament, he left Venezuelan club Zamora FC to join MLS, heading to Denver directly after the tournament for a short time before heading home.

“Torres is dynamic and can score goals and will give us a boost as we enter the final 10 games of the regular season,” Pareja said. “We had been looking at him since before the Gold Cup, but that tournament showed everybody what he is capable of. It’s great for the club that Torres is able to join us, and I am eager to see him on the field with the boys.”

Torres will join an attacking set-up that features MLS Rookie of the Year candidates Deshorn Brown and Dillon Powers, as well as former U.S. World Cup player Edson Buddle. The high-flying Rapids sit in second place in the Western Conference, having played two more matches than the four teams immediately below them.

To secure a playoff spot through the final stretch of the season, Colorado will need to find results against the Los Angeles Galaxy, Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers, as well as the Vancouver Whitecaps, whom the Rapids have not faced yet this year but will match up against three times before the end of the regular season.

It all starts on Sunday, with a trip to Chivas USA. Torres will be eligible to join the team as soon as his P-1 work visa is received.

“Torres is an important part of our goal of bringing another MLS Cup to our fans, and he can also help us continue to grow the sport in Colorado,” Rapids president Tom Hinchey said. “This is a big day for the Rapids and MLS.”

  1. jpan007 - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Good signing Rapids

  2. rphillish - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    hope to see more CONCACAF signings, good for the league and good for the country

  3. charliej11 - Aug 9, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    Agree with the comments above. That seems to be exactly what they needed.

    Colorado is like stepping in gum, it just won’t go away. I mean that with the highest respect ;-)

  4. soccerjohn - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Here’s what I want to know: did Torres bypass the allocation route like Dempsey did? If he’s a DP, was he able to go directly to the team? If so, could all the conspiracy theorists please shut up about Dempsey’s transfer? If not, well, have at it conspiracy theorists!

    • pecorasc - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:37 AM

      He’s from Panama. And I bet Colorado paid all of his transfer fee.

  5. scboston2013 - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Wow, I never thought that I would see the day that KSE-Rapids would sign a DP. I’m still wrapping my head around that fact. Torres is a good signing for the Rapids.

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