He didn't get that dream goal, but Erick 'Cubo' Torres was all smiles after making his senior debut for the Mexican national team.
The 21-year-old Chivas USA forward, who went the full 90 minutes in Mexico's 1-0 friendly win over Bolivia on Tuesday evening in Commerce City, Colorado, didn't quite connect when the ball fell his way in the area, but was otherwise one of the brightest players on the field for El Tri at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and integral in setting up his team's lone goal of the game.
In the 18th minute, Torres played a give and go with Javier Orozco at the top of the area and unleashed a low left-footed shot, forcing Bolivia goalkeeper Daniel Vaca into a fine kick save. The popped up right to Mexico's Miguel Layun, who drove the ball off the surface and up into the net.
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After the game, Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera made sure to highlight his new charge's play in his press conference, telling reporters, "[Torres] did phenomenally, he held the ball, had a pair of important plays and left me satisfied."
Torres' work on the goal was emblematic of his comfort level with his new teammates, as he was involved in the attack throughout the game both as a scoring threat and in distribution and hold-up play.
"I'm happy and I go with a smile from ear to ear, another dream made reality, with an enormous satisfaction, and I have to keep working," Torres told media in Spanish after the game. "I want to achieve several goals with the national team. I have to put in more work and sacrifice."
His two best scoring chances in the encounter outside the shot that led to the goal came in the second half. In the 70th minute, Torres collected a cross from Javier Aquino in the area and spun away from his marker, but could not make clean contact on his shot, allowing Vaca to make the save. He also had a promising run cut short by a Bolivian defender late on as he tried to cut onto his right foot for a shot.
Torres has featured for Mexico at various youth levels, and could well play for Mexico in the 2016 Summer Olympics, a U-23 tournament, but hit a wall after a promising start to his club career at Chivas Guadalajara. That prompted a loan to Chivas USA in July 2013, where he has since scored 21 goals in 40 appearances to become the highest-scoring Mexican-born player in MLS history.
"The truth is that it was a very difficult process and now MLS has served me very well and I have matured a lot," he told ESPN after the game. "I hope to keep working and and keep scoring goals for my team so that the opportunities continue to arrive here."