Now Torres, too, is set to miss at least a large chunk of the remainder of the regular season.
"Unfortunately we just learned Cubo Torres has a knee sprain and he’s going to miss the majority of the rest of the season as well. The replacement player we signed also got injured," Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra said during a conference call with reporters to unveil new Designated Player signing Marcelino Moreno on Tuesday.
For the second time in 2020, the question is what now for Atlanta United to fill the void up front. One thing Bocanegra confirmed is that the club will not be getting any further roster relief.
“With Josef, when we put him on the season-ending injury list, we got a roster slot replacement for him," he said. "That’s what Cubo went into. We don’t have any more roster slots even though he’s injured as well.”
While Torres made just three starts and completed 90 minutes just once since signing as a season-ending injury replacement for Martinez on July 31, his absence is a further blow for a team that has scored just 12 goals in as many games this season.
Adam Jahn is the only striker on the Atlanta roster to register a goal this season, netting once in his 11 appearances (seven starts), although Irish winger Jon Gallagher, who can also play through the middle, scored his first MLS goal in Saturday's loss to Inter Miami. While there will now be even greater emphasis on Jahn, unless interim manager Stephen Glass comes up with a creative solution, Torres' injury will also provide an opportunity for a young talent to make his mark.
“Tyler Wolff obviously is going to come up the pecking order," Bocanegra said of the 17-year-old son of Austin FC head coach and former US international Josh Wolff. "But he can also play on the wing, he can play as a No. 8 or No. 10. He got the start a few weeks back, it’s a tough situation for a youngster to come into when the team isn’t playing so well, but I thought he held his own and did well. He’ll continue to get his chances.”
Wolff, who made his debut earlier this month and has less than 90 minutes of MLS action under his belt, will now get a shot to show he belongs and put some much-needed smiles back on the faces of Five Stripes supporters.