CARSON, Calif. – For Chivas USA, for the rowdy fans behind the south end goal and most importantly for Erick “Cubo” Torres, the wait was well worth it.
On a night when two stagnant offenses all but withered under the lights of StubHub Center, it was once again the 21-year-old striker that shined the brightest. Since arriving on loan from Mexico last summer, Torres has firmly entrenched himself as one of the league’s most promising stars, and the moments of sheer creativity don’t appear to have an end in sight.
After Torres scored the dramatic game-winner Saturday night in the fourth minute of stoppage time to push Chivas USA past the visiting Montreal Impact, 1-0, he hopped over the advertisement barriers and leaped into the first row of the bleachers and into the arms of his awaiting admirers.
When asked how long he had been planning that outburst of joy, the usually mild-mannered Torres chuckled.
“At halftime, I visualized myself celebrating with the supporters,” he told reporters. “I exerted a lot of adrenaline in that moment.”
It certainly appeared to be bottled up.
For most of the match, it didn’t look like Torres would have the chance to celebrate. The Goats, playing their third game in eight days, appeared sluggish as they struggled to generate dangerous chances up front. Luckily for them, Montreal – owners of the worst goal output in the Eastern Conference – weren’t any better.
Yet, when it seemed as if Chivas USA and the Impact would each walk away with a point, Torres reached into his magic bag once more.
After a give-and-go sequence between Nathan Sturgis and Mauro Rosales, midfielder Marco Delgado’s shot from the top of the box deflected toward Torres, who flicked the ball above his head and sent a bicycle kick past goalkeeper Troy Perkins into the top corner. With the clutch shot, Torres extended his scoring streak to four consecutive league games – the Rojiblancos are unbeaten in that stretch. He has netted 12 of the club’s 17 goals this year.
- Get the latest Chivas news at CDChivas.com
“He’s just finishing the whole work that everyone is doing on the field,” head coach Wilmer Cabrera told reporters.
After descending from the stands, Torres was surrounded by nearly all of his teammates. And when the final whistle sounded a short moment later, 'keeper Dan Kennedy sprinted to midfield to greet the hero, wanting to get in on the fun.
“It was a great goal. I don’t really get to celebrate with the team too much and that was about as close as I’ll get to a goal celebration,” Kennedy told reporters. “I think the whistle went some 15 seconds [after the goal], so it felt good to be a part of it."