AMSTERDAM — American forward Conor Doyle is on the verge of inking a two-year deal to join Championship side Derby County, MLSsoccer.com has learned. The 18-year-old was set to begin playing on a scholarship at Creighton University this fall, but has done enough on a preseason trial with the Rams to earn a contract.
The club are working feverishly on Friday to complete the capture, so that Doyle can be eligible to dress for their league opener at Mike Grella's Leeds United on Saturday.
“It's not done yet,” Derby spokesman Tom Loakes told MLSsoccer.com. “Hopefully, we can get it done in time for him to be involved against Leeds. He played in most of our preseason games and scored a goal against Chesterfield. The manager is quite impressed with him.”
The Texas native's father is former Major Indoor Soccer League strike ace David Doyle, now a coach with renowned American youth side Dallas Texans. Through his father, Doyle holds an Irish passport, smoothing his work permit process in England.
The soon-to-be-newest Ram came up with the Texans, who have produced several Americans currently playing abroad, including Clint Dempsey, Hunter Freeman, Jared Jeffrey and Lee Nguyen.
Last season, Derby manager Nigel Clough guided the club to a 14th-place finish in the Championship. But the side scored just 53 goals in 46 matches, making a striker like Doyle a prized commodity. His competition for playing time includes returning top gun Rob Hulse, Chris Porter and Luke Varney.