The move to MLS last summer was a big unknown for Erick “Cubo” Torres as he had reached a crossroads of sorts in Guadalajara, but the Chivas USA striker told reporters Friday the change in scenery is the major reason why he’s earned his first call-up to the Mexican senior national team.
Torres was named Thursday to the El Tri roster for upcoming friendlies against Chile (Sept. 6) and Bolivia (Sept. 9), and he credited his production with the Rojiblancos for the monumental achievement.
“Perhaps some people didn’t believe in me and thought I was coming here because I wasn’t needed [in Guadalajara] anymore,” Torres said during a 30-minute conference call. “But I knew this was a move that would help me get back on track. It helped me concentrate, and the results are there.
"I don’t know what would have happened if I would have stayed in Guadalajara; we don’t know if I would have this opportunity. But thanks to God, I’ve been able to do well in this strong league and it’s led me to being included on the roster for these friendlies.”
Though Cubo is caught in a season-worst scoring drought of four games, the MLS All-Star has netted 21 goals since joining the Goats on loan from Guadalajara last July, making him the highest-scoring Mexican-born player in league history, ahead of former Chicago Fire DP and beloved Mexico legend Cuauhtémoc Blanco.
Torres has scored 14 of Chivas USA’s 21 goals this year and ranks third among the league leaders.
“Here, I’ve learned a lot,” Torres said. “What’s bringing me to this reward is the continuity I’ve experienced with Chivas USA. To be able to play every weekend is what every player searches for. This league is very strong and physical, but it’s been great to be able to play 90 minutes every week. It’s helped me mature and it’s led to this call-up.”
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Torres has other aspirations, too, and intends to impress Mexican manager Miguel Herrera early next month when El Tri play at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver.
“I’m focused on having a great close to the season with Chivas USA,” Torres said. “I’ve got another two matches to get ready for the national team, and then I’ll sit down with my support group to see what my future will bring. I have the dream of playing in Europe and one day returning to the team I love, Chivas of Guadalajara. I don’t know when that will be, and right now I’m focused on what’s immediately ahead.”
Chivas USA are scheduled to face the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night (7:30 pm ET; MLS Live) before closing out the month of August against the rival LA Galaxy. With his call-up, Torres would appear to be in line to miss the Goats’ road match against the Columbus Crew on Sept. 7.