CARSON, Calif. – Erick “Cubo” Torres has scored six of Chivas USA’s eight goals through the first two months of the season, including the last five since their season-opening victory, and proven to be an irreplaceable piece of the team's attack.
Yet with his loan set to expire at the end of next month, the Rojiblancos could potentially face a dire situation up front. The recent injury to promising rookie midfielder Thomas McNamara added an obstacle, and losing their most reliable offensive weapon on top of that would be nearly catastrophic.
Head coach Wilmer Cabrera is breathing easy, though, after having been assured by club president Nelson Rodriguez that Torres is in Chivas USA’s plans beyond June.
“The club, based on what the president has told me, is going to keep him for the whole season,” Cabrera told MLSsoccer.com ahead of Saturday night's home match against the Houston Dynamo (10:30 pm ET, MLS Live). “I’m sure [Torres] is really happy and wants to be here the whole season because this has been very positive for him. We’re working on that and thinking he’s going to stay.”
Torres, 21, said a decision about his loan status has not been made.
“I’m very happy here,” Torres told MLSsoccer.com. “When the time comes to talk about my future, we will sit down with the people here and in Guadalajara, and we’ll discuss what is best.
“We’re in contact but, at the moment, I don’t know much. We have to wait. Right now, I’m focused on the task at hand.”
Torres has scored 13 goals in 23 games since arriving from Mexico in July last year. This season, the budding star leads the Goats with 26 shot attempts through eight games, with midfielder Carlos Alvarez being the next closest player at 11 shots.
“He’s been scoring almost every goal for us,” Cabrera said. “But, yes, this is something we are trying to push. If we cover our feet, we uncover our head. If we cover our head, we uncover our feet. You can’t have everything at the same time unless you are Real Madrid, Chelsea or one of those teams.
"In MLS, all the teams have to work on different things to adjust. Right now, we are building a good team to have more stability in the back.”
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With more emphasis on the defensive side, the struggling Chivas USA offense has been fairly one-dimensional. Yet, Torres, who works alone atop the 4-2-3-1 formation, doesn’t feel as if he needs to carry the load.
“I don’t take it as pressure. I have scored the goals, but it’s been thanks to the team’s work,” Torres said. “We’re working so that if there’s a situation when I’m marked by two or three defenders, my teammates can take advantage, generate dangerous chances and score goals.”