The Houston Dynamo have been good at putting the ball into the back of the net through the first month of the season, but Erick "Cubo" Torres has not been a pat of that.
Five games into the 2016 MLS season and the only stats for Torres are one game, five minutes, and one foul committed. Torres — one of two Dynamo Designated Players — logged those stats during the 4-3 loss to the Red Bulls on March 19.
Will Bruin, one of the forwards Torres is competing with for playing time, scored two goals in that match. In five games, Bruin has netted three goals and delivered two assists and is one of the reasons for the Dynamo’s attacking prowess.
Torres is, however, working hard in practice to earn more minutes. Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle has noticed, too, telling FutbolMLS.com after Wednesday’s practice that Cubo has “looked sharp in training and we know when we get him on the field we feel he can do a very good job for us.”
Getting on the field is what has eluded Torres despite his steadfast work in practice.
“Our plan is to always try and get Cubo involved in the game,” said Coyle. “But with [previous] injuries and the concussions, that forced our hand, and then Cubo was away with the Olympic squad, but our plan is to get him involved.”
Coyle added that the Dynamo’s philosophy this season is attack-oriented and Torres fits it due to his goal-scoring ways.
“We feel we have players that can create chances, certainly more than we had last year, and if that comes about then we know that Cubo can finish chances,” said Coyle.
For now, Bruin is clearly the No. 1 in the striker pecking order, but Coyle said that Torres is making decisions more difficult.
“As is we have to be respectful to Will Bruin, who’s doing very well and Mauro [Manotas] and Erick are pushing all the way all the time,” said Coyle. “But that’s good that we have strikers busting the door down because they want to play and Will knows that and that’s why he’s playing at a high level.”