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Colorado Rapids Sign Goalkeeper Marko Ilić on Loan

Belgian Pro League’s KV Kortrijk gives option to buy. Rapids likely done with big moves this window.

Club Brugge KV v KV Kortrijk - Jupiler Pro League
BRUGGES, BELGIUM - AUGUST 21: Goalkeeper Marko Ilic of KV Kortrijk during the Jupiler Pro League match between Club Brugge KV and KV Kortrijk at the Jan Breydelstadion on August 21, 2022 in Brugges, Belgium
Photo by Joris Verwijst/Orange Pictures/BSR Agency/Getty Images

The Colorado Rapids have acquired goalkeeper Marko Ilić on loan, the club announced Friday morning. The loan will run through July 2023 with an option to buy. All of this is pending a medical, International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.

“Marko is an athletic goalkeeper who is not only a good shot stopper, but also good with his feet, a strong passer who can help us build out from the back,” said Pádraig Smith, Colorado Rapids Executive VP & General Manager. “We’re delighted to reinforce what is already a top goalkeeping group with his addition and look forward to welcoming Marko to the club.”

The 25-year-old is a Serbian international. He comes to the Rapids, from KV Kortrijk, a relegation fodder team in the Belgian first division. Yes, he’s played against Sam Vines before. All of his previous club experience took place in Serbia.

He has one senior cap for Serbia, appearing in a friendly in 2021 against Jamaica. He’s represented the Eagles at the U-17, U-19 and U-21 levels.

Read More: Ten Questions That Will Define the Colorado Rapids Offseason

He’s been a regular starter at both KVK and FK Voždovac, the last club he played in Serbia for. The club has leaned into their analytics and character references with player scouting, especially abroad. Goalkeeper Coach Chris Sharpe has been heavily involved in goalkeeper recruitment as well. For this transfer to go through, Sharpe has to approve of the player and Smith has to like the price tag for the option to buy.

The Rapids officially have goalkeeper competition. William Yarbrough in the final year of his deal. There is a clear succession plan for the position. The club could purchase Ilić in the summer. If the loan doesn’t work out, it’s easier to make a move for a European goalkeeper in the summer. Yarbrough still has a team option for 2024, so they could even make a move next year.

If Ilić takes the starting spot from Yarbrough by July, the decision from the front office should be straight forward.

This is likely the last major move of the window for the Rapids. Ilić would be the 30th player on the roster. There might be a minor move within the league that includes a player departure. The next few weeks should see fringe first teamers join Rapids 2’s preseason camp.

TRANSACTION: Colorado Rapids sign goalkeeper Marko Ilić from Belgian Pro League side Kortrijk on loan through July 2023 with an option to buy, pending completion of his medical and receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa, on February 17, 2023.

Pronunciation: IL-ich

Position: Goalkeeper

Height: 6-3

Weight: 179

Birthdate: February 3, 1998

Birthplace: Novi Sad, Serbia

Nationality: Serbia