With mere hours remaining on deadline day, the Rapids finally land the Panamanian international.
Colorado Rapids announced late on Thursday night that they had finally completed the signing of Gabriel Torres.
The Panamanian international joined as a Designated Player mere hours before the MLS transfer window shut.
CaughtOffside reported at the end of July that the Rapids looked set to miss out on Torres, with the forward stalling over a transfer after apparent interest from teams outside of MLS.
However, after his work permit was cleared Torres flew in to Denver on Thursday to put pen to paper on a deal that will make him the first Designated Player in Rapids history.
“Signing Gabriel Torres as our club’s first Designated Player is a historic moment, but it’s most exciting because he’s the right player to help this team win,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo to the official club site. “We want to thank the senior management at Kroenke Sports & Entertainment and Stan Kroenke for their support in bringing Torres to Colorado. We’re excited for him to join the squad.”
“Torres is dynamic and can score goals, and will give us a boost as we enter the final ten games of the regular season,” added Rapids Head Coach Oscar Pareja. “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.”
“Throughout this process, Paul Bravo worked tirelessly and he deserves a lot of credit for making this transfer a reality,” said Rapids President Tim Hinchey. “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. This is a big day for the Rapids and MLS.”
Most MLS fans may recognise Torres from the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He netted five goals for Panama, winning his side three of their six matches and tying USMNT strikers Landon Donovan and Chris Wondolowski for the golden boot. He also featured against the US in the final of the competition.
“I’m happy to join the Colorado Rapids, and I will give my all to this club,” Torres said. “Coach [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 organisation and look to score many goals to help us win games.”
The Rapids’ next fixture in MLS falls this Sunday, away against Chivas USA, however it seems unlikely that Torres will get his debut so soon – the following Saturday at home to Houston Dynamo seems a more realistic date.
See Torres’ welcoming to the club here: