American Exports: Jose Torres maintains World Cup ambitions despite frustrating season at Tigres
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Midfielder Jose Torres is in need of a break at Liga MX outfit Tigres, with just 100 days left before the World Cup gets underway and frustration with his club situation growing.
“It’s complicated right now because I’m not playing very much. I just have to work extra,” Torres told MLSsoccer.com after Tigres’ 0-0 tie at Chivas on Sunday, in which he went 28 minutes. “That is soccer: Some seasons don’t go well, some seasons you’re on the very top.”
It isn’t difficult to see why Torres seems disappointed with how 2014 has gone.
Last season, Tigres made the playoffs with the Texan a fixture in central midfield. During the current Clausura, Torres hasn’t started a single league game and the Monterrey club is down in 17th position in the league, with just three goals scored and one victory in nine games.
Then in the Copa MX this year, Ricardo Ferretti’s Tigres have scored 20 goals in just five games, with Torres starting all but one (and appearing for at least 45 minutes in all of them).
While the two are unlikely to be 100 percent directly related, Torres seems to have reason to be upset at not earning a chance to start, although he says he hasn’t spoken to Ferretti about it.
“I’m playing very well,” said Torres, who has notched up over 550 minutes of soccer over the two tournaments. “I’m just trying to do my best every game that I get to play to show that I’m hungry and I want to be a starter [in the league].”
But while Jurgen Klinsmann’s assistant Martin Vasquez visited Club Tijuana’s American players on February 27, Torres hasn’t been in contact with U.S. Soccer since last October.
“I know the World Cup is coming around pretty soon and all I can do is work harder and hopefully make the squad,” the 26-year-old said.
Away from Liga MX, Torres said he was happy to see his friend and fellow East Texan Clint Dempsey in MLS, but said he doesn’t have immediate plans to head back north.
The former Pachuca player also defended his decision to put his nickname “Gringo” on the back of his Tigres shirt, despite some suggestions it may not be politically correct.
“It was my decision,” he stated, with a smile. “It’s nothing racist, it’s what they call me here and I’m going to keep it on.”
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at email@example.com.