HOUSTON – Erick “Cubo” Torres will be in Texas next week.
No, the dynamic young forward – currently on loan at Mexican club Chivas de Guadalajara – won’t be making his much anticipated Houston Dynamo debut. Rather, he’ll be in San Antonio with the Mexican national team for next Wednesday’s friendly against the USMNT (8:30 pm ET; Fox Sports 1).
While he’ll be just a car ride away, the striker will still be untouchable to the Dynamo. But there will be a club presence in San Antonio, with head coach Owen Coyle planning on attending the match to keep tabs on the team’s prized offseason recruit.
“It’s no surprise to me he’s elevated to that level because that’s the quality we believe in,” Coyle said Thursday. “That’s why we went after him as a major signing for the club. We will certainly look to be at the game because it’ll be nice for him to know that the club he’s going to play for for years is there supporting him and wishing him well.”
Coyle will make the 198-mile trip to watch the two regional powers do battle. It will be his first in-person look at Torres, who he’s only been able to watch so far on television.
“I think we all recognize that as much as we love to watch TV and everything else, nothing beats being at the live game,” Coyle said. “You see from TV pictures a certain amount of the field as opposed to when you’re at the game where you can actually take account of everything involved. That’s why you want to be at live matches because there’s nothing better than observing the whole game. It’s a great opportunity for us to do it.”
Torres’ inclusion in the El Tri roster is no surprise. The striker is starting to produce for Chivas, becoming somewhat of a fan favorite after earning the club points with some well-timed goals last month.
The 22-year-old will be looking for his fourth career senior international cap on Thursday and his first appearance in the Mexico-US rivalry.
Torres – who was on loan from Guadalajara to Chivas USA in 2013 and 2014 – transferred from Chivas to Houston in December. The Designated Player then was loaned back to the relegation-threatened Mexican club for the first half of 2015.
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He didn’t see much playing time in his first few months in Guadalajara, leading to speculation that he might arrive in Houston as early as May. That idea seems to have been put to bed, however, with Coyle stating on Thursday that it looks like Torres will stay with Chivas through the end of the Liga MX season and join the Dynamo when the transfer window re-opens at the start of July.
“At the moment it looks as if the deal that’s in place will stand the test of time, shall we say,” Coyle said. “There’s always dialogue between the clubs; we’re very open in that respect and Cubo knows it. He knows he’s got a club here waiting with open arms to welcome him into the fold.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.