UPDATE: “Victor Anichebe is not a target for the club. He trained with the team for a few days during a personal trip to the US to maintain fitness. Victor returned home last week,” a member of the Rapids media team told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday.
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Despite the Colorado Rapids’ recent 2-0 win over Minnesota United FC, it’s no secret they need help with their attack.
The Rapids are averaging just 1.06 goals per game through 32 games played so far in 2018. Former top goal scorers Dominique Badji and Joe Mason exited the club during the summer transfer window, so accounting for players currently on the club’s roster, that average drops to just 0.75 goals per game.
Rapids head coach Anthony Hudson has made clear it’s an area the team is working on addressing as it heads toward the offseason and another transfer window.
“We’ve identified probably within the league, a dozen players, top targets in terms of strikers,” Hudson told reporters last week. “We’ve identified players overseas, our targets. It’s so frustrating for us and it’s tough for the fans, but it’s something that we are absolutely actively addressing. We just can’t do anything right now.”
Among the Rapids’ targets is Victor Anichebe. The 30-year-old has been training with the club since late September, but only recently has Pro Soccer USA been able to identify him.
Club officials and Hudson would neither confirm or deny whether Anichebe was a trialist or guest player when directly asked about his status, but the Nigerian has been seen with the club as recently as last week.
Anichebe most recently played for Beijing Enterprises in the Chinese second division, scoring two goals in 11 appearances. According to recent reports, he made the decision to leave the club due to allegations of match fixing.
Prior to that, Anichebe spent over a decade in England playing for Everton, West Bromwich and Sunderland. Additionally, Anichebe has international experience with the Nigerian national team with 11 caps and one goal scored.
Everton is where Anichebe experienced his most successful run of form, where he scored 18 goals in 118 appearances for the Merseyside club. Anichebe also played alongside current Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard for six of his seven seasons at Everton.
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 187 pounds, Anichebe offers a physical presence in the box and is known for his ability to win aerial duels.
“We know [striker] is an area of the pitch we are addressing and everyone at the club at the moment is 24/7 looking, scouting all over the world – Europe, South America, within the league,” Hudson said. “We’ve got scouts at games every week in the league looking at the targets we have.”