The life of a trial player is typically an anonymous one. Trying to earn a place on the squad, usually with unknown players in a new location and fighting for a spot on the team to further their career.
During Chivas USA’s time in Arizona, they will be joined by a youngster who may be new to American soccer fans but whose name carries major cachet. Guillermo “Memo” Torres—the younger brother of US international Jose Francisco Torres—has joined Chivas USA for the week in Casa Grande, Arizona. Torres played the final 30 minutes in midfield during the Rojiblancos' 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders in a scrimmage on Saturday afternoon.
[inline_node:322313]“This is a great opportunity for me to be part of a team and hopefully things will work out and I’ll get to have more time with them,” Torres told MLSSoccer.com. “I’ll be training with the team for the week that they are in Arizona and it all depends on the coaches and the way that I play so we’ll how it goes.”
A holding midfielder by trade with good technical ability like his brother, Guillermo followed in Jose’s footsteps by joining the Pachuca youth system and eventually signing a contract with the Tuzos in 2009. The year was a banner one for Torres, who also spent time in camp with Thomas Rongen’s US U-20s alongside current Chivas USA players Jorge Flores and Gerson Mayen.
However, Torres found it difficult to break into a crowded Pachuca first team and the U-20 team. He began to seek other opportunities, and looked north to MLS at the suggestion of Pachuca teammate Herculez Gomez, the US international striker and former MLSer.
“There were a lot of non-starters (from the first team) that were coming down to play with the U-20s and I really didn’t see many opportunities,” said Torres. “I was interested in MLS and Herculez Gomez told me about the opportunities there. He said that it was a great league and told me that it was a great place for me to learn a lot and grow.”
Torres joins a Chivas USA club in the midst of rebuilding under new head coach Robin Fraser. But central midfield is the deepest position for the Rojiblancos, with the likes of Paulo Nagamura, Blair Gavin, and Michael Lahoud already there. In addition, Torres will need to deal with the transition to a new style of play. After his first training and scrimmage with an MLS club, he admitted that the level of training was “more intense with more movement” than in Mexico. Through it all, the 19-year-old is optimistic he will earn a roster spot.
“This is a bit of a fresh start for me, but the club has a lot of good players and great coaches,” said Torres. “I was [in Mexico] for two years and I learned a lot and I got a lot of experience. I came to MLS to learn more and hopefully this will work out.”
Slated to train with the club for the week, Torres will have two more scrimmages to make his mark on the club as the Rojiblancos take on Real Salt Lake on February 14th and the Vancouver Whitecaps on February 18th. As Torres tries to further his own career, he knows that he can always count on the support of his brother.
“My brother has made a great name for himself in Mexico,” said Torres. “He told me that this is a great opportunity and I know that I just need to take advantage of this chance and join this team.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSSoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.On Twitter @adamserrano