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USL notes: Former D.C. United striker Doyle signs with Chattanooga

Jun 24, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; D.C. United forward Conor Doyle (30) practices before the game against the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, a USL League One expansion side, added a player recently who has scored a handful of goals at the Major League Soccer level.

The club announced on Jan. 23 that it had signed Conor Doyle to a deal for the 2019 season, pending league and federation approval.

“I’m very excited to be a part of the inaugural season here in Chattanooga,” Doyle said in a statement from the club. “Hearing the amazing things about the city and seeing the roster that is being put together made it a fairly easy decision to make.”

An Irish-American from Texas, Doyle, 27, began his career in England with second-tier side Derby County. He made 24 total appearances with the club, notching two assists.

In 2013, D.C. United acquired Doyle on-loan from Derby and then bought him outright after the season. Doyle played in 66 contests with the Black-and-Red, scoring six times and adding an assist. He won a U.S. Open Cup with the club and scored twice in Concacaf Champions League play.

D.C. United traded Doyle to the Colorado Rapids in 2016 for a pick in the MLS SuperDraft. He has also featured for the Colorado Springs Switchbacks, Puerto Rico FC and the Jacksonville Armada. In international play, he has represented both Ireland and the U.S. at the youth levels.

“Doyle has experience at the highest levels of professional soccer and is a notable addition to our roster,” Chattanooga head coach Tim Hankinson said in a statement. “Combined with our other players with MLS and USL Championship-level experience, Doyle is strengthening our ability to compete and win within USL League One. This season will be an exciting one to watch.”

The Red Wolves also signed Tony Walls this week, a former USL Championship First Team selection who captained the Rochester Rhinos to a USL Cup victory in 2015. Walls, 29, has also played with Saint Louis FC and the Chicago Fire. Typically a defensive midfielder or centerback, he has eight goals and two assists in his career.

Birmingham adds two UAB defenders

Two defenders aren’t going far as they make the jump from the college ranks to the professionals, as Birmingham Legion FC announced Monday that they had signed Mathieu Laurent and Gael Mabiala, a pair of products from the University of Alabama at Birmingham soccer team.

“Given their ties to the local soccer community, we are excited to announce the signings of Gael and Mathieu,” Birmingham general manager Jay Heaps said in a statement. “These signings are another great example of Legion FC working with the quality players in this area, further developing our connection to the city and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.”

Mabiala played primarily at right-back for UAB and was named to the Conference USA Second Team, notching a team-high four assists and a goal in 17 appearances as a senior. Laurent was also a CUSA Second Team selection, starring at centerback and wearing the captain’s armband for UAB.

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