HOUSTON – It's safe to say that Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres hasn’t lived up to his Designated Player status with the Houston Dynamo.
The Mexican forward, signed in 2015 for his goal scoring prowess with Chivas USA where he scored 22 goals in 44 games, has yet to find the back of the net for the Orange.
Torres has 11 appearances in each of the last two seasons and has yet to play a full season with the club. In 2014, Torres joined the team midway through the season. He missed a number of games in 2015 due to international duty with the Mexican U23 team during Olympic qualifying.
After the 2016 Olympics, Torres returned to the Dynamo but it was a short stay. The 23-year-old accepted a loan to play for LIGA MX side Cruz Azul, who held an option to buy. At the time, Torres said the move was to refresh his mind, but the loan turned sour.
Torres only played 43 minutes spread across three games due to a knee injury. It’s no surprise La Máquina Cementera opted not to buy Torres, which meant a return to Houston, and that suited Torres just fine.
“I’m happy to be here,” Torres said after the club’s first day of training Wednesday. “This is a new year, a new season and I’m optimistic for the future. It begins with the preseason, you have to set the tone there and I’m excited to work with the team we have and the coaching staff as well.”
Entering his third season with the Dynamo, Torres will be reunited with Wilmer Cabrera, who coached him in 34 of his 44 games with the Goats.
Better yet, Cabrera has made it publicly known that he intends on playing more than one forward, which suits Torres game better than playing up top alone, as he did in most of his Dynamo appearances.
Torres said he knows Cabrera well from their days at Chivas USA.
“I know how he works. He’s a professional and he demands a lot from his players on and off the field” Torres said. “I’m confident he will do well here.”
Cabrera said it’s a “positive” that Torres has played for him before.
“I hope that will release pressure from him because he needs to be confident,” Cabrera said. “Because I know he’s a good player and he can score goals.”
And about that long awaited first goal for the Orange, Torres acknowledges that it’s long overdue. His remedy, a heavy dose of consecutive trainings with the Dynamo.
“I can focus solely on the club this year, there won’t be many trips with the national team and that will help me generate a rhythm and train on a daily basis with the Dynamo,” Torres said.
“I’m anxious to start the regular season, to score a good amount of goals, I know that I’m capable. I know what I can offer the team.”