CARSON, Calif. – Caught amidst his longest scoring drought of the season, Chivas USA forward Erick “Cubo” Torres knows the looming break from league play would be better received if he managed to find the back of the net this weekend against the rival LA Galaxy (Sunday, 8 pm ET, Univision Deportes).
Torres is tied with Clint Dempsey for third in MLS with eight goals, but has not scored in any of the last three games. Before the rut, there had been only two other games in which the 21-year-old striker had not scored.
With their lone forward struggling to find space in recent weeks, the Rojiblancos suffered losses to the Portland Timbers and Philadelphia Union. They head into this week’s SuperClasico on a 263-minute scoreless streak at StubHub Center.
“Simply put, we just haven’t generated scoring chances like we had before,” Torres told MLSsoccer.com. “I haven’t had clear opportunities and I haven’t scored. Hopefully I get a few chances this upcoming game.
“I have to be unrelenting with whatever chance I get. That’s my job. If I have an opportunity, I’ve got to capitalize.”
Despite the dry spell, Torres has already surpassed the seven goals he scored in 2013 after arriving on loan from Mexican side C.D. Guadalajara. He failed to score in his final six league games with the Goats last year.
“Sometimes it happens where [goal scorers] have consecutive goals and suddenly they can’t score,” head coach Wilmer Cabrera told MLSsoccer.com. “They get a little frustrated. I spoke with him about needing to be calm, relaxed and continue working the way he did in the beginning of the season. If he’s fresh and mentally motivated, he will get his chances.”
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Torres recorded only two shots on goal in the previous three games combined – an alarming stat for a player that has scored all but five of the team’s goals this season. Chivas USA rank last in the Western Conference with just 13 goals in 13 games.
“He’s our goal scorer and we’ve got to use him,” midfielder Martin Rivero told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s not that we’re not looking for him, but the midfielders have to help him get to goal and set him up. We’ve got to break lines to get to the attack.”