Marcus Hahnemann backs ex-Reading and Wolves teammate Kevin Doyle for MLS success

The 31-year-old Irish striker made his debut for the Colorado Rapids in Saturday's 1-0 win over Vancouver.

Former Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann is backing ex-Reading and Wolverhampton Wanderers teammate Kevin Doyle to make a major impact in MLS following his move to the Colorado Rapids.

Hahnemann, who retired in the winter, was speaking to ahead of Wednesday night’s clash between the Sounders and Doyle’s Rapids at CenturyLink Field, which could see his long-time friend earn his first start for the visitors.

The Irishman, 31, signed a pre-contract agreement with the club in March ahead of his Wolves deal expiring this summer, before the two sides reached a settlement earlier this month to allow him to make an immediate move.

He would go on to earn his MLS debut as a 63rd-minute substitute in last weekend’s 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, and Hahnemann thinks it could be the start of a long and successful stateside career.

He knows the striker better than most after all, having spent four seasons together at Reading, where the pair helped the club seal their first-ever promotion to the Premier League in 2006 with a record 106 points, before again linking up at Molineux in the summer of 2009.

“[Reading] was where both of us really made a name for ourselves. And then we both ended up at Wolves and had a couple of really good seasons there,” Hahnemann said. “He’s a really good friend of mine. His wife was really good friends with my wife – We hung out with those guys a lot. He’s one of the better friends that I still keep in contact with from my time in England.”

During his time in England, Hahnemann also got to see Doyle’s noted aerial prowess at first hand and believes that trait is what will help him become an immediate hit with the Rapids.

“He’s not one of those guys that is going to out-jump somebody, but he gets in position so early and just uses his body,” the former US international added. “When he gets in position so early, it makes it really difficult for someone else to win the ball. …From what I’ve seen in the past, he has a huge impact on the team every time he steps on the field.

“He’s one of those guys that, for myself, made my job so easy. No matter where I put the ball, he was going to win it. He’s not super big, but he’ll make runs into a channel, he’ll chase lost causes and he uses his body so well. He causes defenders to not win the ball properly, even when he doesn’t win it. He’s just a great all-around player.”

After joining Reading in 2005, Doyle would go on to score 92 times in 357 appearances during his time in English football, while also amassing 61 caps and 14 goals for the Republic of Ireland.

While his production has dried up somewhat in recent seasons after falling out of favour at Wolves, Colorado will be hoping he can rediscover some of his past form after a slow start to the 2015 campaign sees them sitting bottom of the Western Conference ahead of facing the Sounders, having recorded just two wins, seven draw and two defeats from their 11 matches.

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