CARSON, Calif. – The player who likes to celebrate goals with his rendition of “The Robot” has turned out to be quite the machine.
Through the first month of the season, Chivas USA forward Erick “Cubo” Torres is tied for the MLS lead with four goals. He has tallied 11 goals in 19 games since joining the Rojiblancos on loan from CD Guadalajara in July last year – an output that already ties him for fifth in club history with Juan Pablo Ángel, who needed nine more games than Torres to reach that mark.
It could all be by design. The 21-year-old Torres told MLSsoccer.com this week he aims to lead the league in goals scored this year.
“It’s something I set out to do,” Torres said. “That’s my mentality at the start of the season. There is still a lot of season ahead and plenty of games, but it’s important we’ve started well. I’ve got to keep working with plenty of humility and sacrifice to stay on this path.”
Head coach Wilmer Cabrera has been impressed with how his dynamic striker has found ways to create danger in and around the penalty box, but knows Torres has yet to reach his ceiling.
“He has to continue with that motivation and thinking about goal,” Cabrera told reporters ahead of Sunday afternoon’s SuperClasico against the LA Galaxy (3 pm ET, UniMas). “He’s got to keep working hard every week, and preparing himself physically and mentally to be in the position he needs to be in. When he has chances, try to put the ball in the net.”
Torres’ 20th career match might prove to be one of his most difficult given that it will be his second appearance against the Galaxy, who bolstered their roster this past offseason. He had only one shot in 90 minutes in a 5-0 loss to the rivals last October.
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Torres knows teams are getting more familiar with him and acknowledges that he will have to adapt in order to keep his scoring exploits going.
“I’ve got to keep thinking differently and innovating the way I play,” Torres said. “It’s about working every day to stay on this same path.”
Torres is not alone in thinking he could win the MLS Golden Boot this year.
“Without a doubt,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy told MLSsoccer.com. “Since he’s been here, he’s been a very special player for us. He’s extremely young, but he shows a lot of experience. He’s got a great personality for the team and his confidence is through the roof.
“I’d imagine he’ll continue to score goals. That’s just what he does.”