CARSON, Calif. – A four-game scoring drought has not deterred Chivas USA forward Erick “Cubo” Torres, who aims to end his first MLS season on a positive note before heading back to Mexico.
Torres burst onto the scene shortly after arriving on loan from parent club CD Guadalajara in July, scoring seven goals in his first 10 matches and sparking an offense that lacked a go-to figure. The 20-year-old needed only six games to assume the team lead for goals, but opposing defenses have suffocated him in recent week. Torres has not found the back of the net since Sept. 8, a dry spell of 399 minutes.
“Things haven’t worked out for us in the last few games, but I’m still carrying the same mentality to score and keep supporting the attack,” Torres told MLSsoccer.com. “The goals haven’t come, but I have to keep working with patience. We’re concentrated and taking it day by day, so we know the goals will arrive.”
Torres had only one shot, a season low, in the Rojiblancos’ most recent game, a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of the LA Galaxy. Nothing went right for the Goats that day and, without ball control, Torres was hardly a factor.
“The Galaxy game was the poorest we’ve played since I arrived here,” Torres said. “We didn’t have chances and didn’t control the game. It was a difficult and frustrating match, but we’ve got to forget about it and improve. We’ve got to regain the mentality we had up top, to attack and make it difficult for defenses. We want to close the season well.”
Torres’ seven goals are the most by a Chivas USA player since 2011, when Nick LaBrocca and Justin Braun each had eight, albeit with the luxury of a full season. No other player on the current roster has more than three goals this season.
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Despite the lack of productivity over the last month, Torres remains optimistic about Chivas USA’s final two games. Perhaps most importantly, he’s excited to find out what his next step will be.
“I will most likely return to Guadalajara, where I’ll train,” Torres said. “I’ll wait there until management decides what will be the next step. If I come back here, it will be with the mentality to have a good season and help us reach the postseason. But if I stay in Guadalajara, it will be to battle for a spot against the forwards they have there already. I’ll compete so that I’m noticed and can thrive in whatever comes next.
“I’ll approach any situation with humility and desire to get better day by day. I’m not just thinking about returning to Chivas. If I did that, it would be a mediocre aspiration. I’m thinking about bigger things, whether that’s here or not. I’m not just thinking about returning to Guadalajara a stronger player, but also perhaps making the jump to Europe. Whatever comes, though, I’ll approach with humility and positive energy.”