Panama’s Gold Cup top scorer could become the Rapids’ first ever Designated Player.
Colorado Rapids are looking to seal a deal for prolific Panamanian striker Gabriel Torres as soon as possible.
The striker would become the first Designated Player in Rapids history, with the team currently struggling for goals. Whilst the side are sitting in third in the Western Conference, they are only the sixth highest scorers and lack a single individual scorer inside the league’s top 20.
Torres would look to be the perfect signing, with the 24-year-old having recently shared the CONCACAF Gold Boot award with USA strikers Landon Donovan and Chris Wondolowski, all three finishing with five goals for the tournament.
“We’re looking for a goalscorer, and he fits the profile of a young, up-and-coming player, not just in CONCACAF, but in South America as well,” Paul Bravo, Rapids Technical Director told MLSsoccer.com on Saturday. “He’s scored big goals, still only 24-years-old, still a couple years before he gets into his prime. If you look at the makeup of our group, [it’s] a young nucleus of quality players that we hope can grow together and give us some sustainable success over the next few years. And he fits as a goalscorer in that group.”
Torres is a proven striker at club level as well as international, with his 11 goals in 15 games helping lead his team Zamora FC to the 2012-13 Venezuelan Primera Division Clausura title – it was also enough to see him miss out on the golden boot by just one goal.
Whilst Torres is of unquestionable quality on the pitch, doubts have surfaced surrounding his personal life, specifically his playboy lifestyle and fondness for a night out. Bravo, however, was quick to dispel any suggestions that the player might be trouble: “[The Panamanians] were concerned about his youthful exuberance. I think that’s one of the reasons they were reluctant to call him [to the national team] on a consistent basis,” Bravo said. “We gathered all that information with people down in Venezuela, in his national team camp, himself. Sitting with him was very important for us in regards to moving forward with trying to sign him.”
Despite his on-again off-again relationship with the Panama national team setup, he still holds the record for youngest ever international appearance for the side, when he appeared for them in 2005 at just 16 years of age.
Colorado are expected to announce the move formally on Monday.