Let nobody say this was a quiet international transfer window for D.C. United. On the heels of homegrown signings, trades bringing players in and sending others out and just a week after bringing in another former U.S. youth international (not to mention shock sales to Swiss clubs with great names), the club announced today that they had acquired Conor Doyle on loan from English Championship (i.e. second division) side Derby County. After years of spurning entry into the weighted lottery mechanism MLS uses to allocate players with experience in the U.S. youth national teams who start there career abroad before coming Stateside, Doyle comes to RFK through just such a lottery.
Doyle left for Derby after his freshman year at Creighton in summer 2010 and spent three years with the Rams, playing both as a forward and a midfielder (and, due to various ailments including appendicitis, also played not at all for stretches). The terms of the loan deal haven't yet become public
, but one imagines that United will have the option to buy the player outright at the end of the spell - whether the loan ends at the end of this calendar year or the end of the upcoming English season is another open question. (See update, below.)
Doyle managed four goals in six appearances for the U-20 Baby Yanks, but failed to score in 21 appearances for Derby over the last three seasons. He's just 22, and at 6'1", 172-lbs, he would appear to have the type of body to play in the physical league that is MLS (which, come to think of it, isn't too dissimilar to the English second tier, either).
In short, it's another young, unproven striker with youth national team experience coming into a team desperate for any production from the forward line. Unlike the departed Rafael Teixeira de Souza, though, Doyle doesn't come with the disproportionate expectations of a Designated Player slot or an over-hyped "major announcement." What are your thoughts on Doyle and his acquisition by the Black-in-Red? Think he'll force Ben Olsen to put him on the field, or will he be more of a project? Let us know down in the comments.
UPDATE: As usual, Goff has the scoop - United has until December 1 to decide whether to purchase Doyle. (h/t to Benuski)
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