The Houston Dynamo confirmed on Tuesday morning the news shared by Mexico assistant head coach Luis Pompilio Paez on Monday night that Torres has been summoned as a late replacement after El Tri forward Alan Pulido went down with a broken arm this past weekend.
Torres will join Mexico's camp after playing for Houston in their Week 19 matchup against the Montreal Impact at BBVA Compass Stadium. Mexico open Group C play on Sunday against El Salvador at Qualcomm Stadium.
"Mexico's technical staff is announcing that Erick Torres will be the player to replace Alan Pulido," Paez said on Monday. "He is in great shape, he is very eager to represent his country and to play in a tournament that is very important."
The 24-year-old Torres was included on the preliminary 40-man Gold Cup roster for El Tri, but did not make the final cut. He said this past weekend that he was ready to step in and perform if called upon.
"Sad to hear the news," Torres said after Pulido was hurt in Saturday's 2-1 friendly victory over Paraguay. "I hope it’s nothing too serious; he’s a very good friend of mine. At the end of the day, this is soccer. I know I’m on the list and I know I can receive the call-up. If the coaching staff thinks I could be a good element to the team, obviously I will do so proudly and the way Mexico should be represented. The most important thing is that I feel good physically and mentally."
Torres, who has earned four caps and scored one goal for Mexico, is playing well for Houston right now. He found the back of the net for the 12th time this season in the Dynamo's 3-1 road loss to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, moving past New York City FC forward David Villa to take sole possession of second place in the MLS Golden Boot race. Nemanja Nikolic of the Chicago Fire is the current leader with 16.
At least one pundit felt all along that Torres should have been the one to receive the call from Mexican coach Juan Carlos Osorio. ESPN's Herculez Gomez made the case, pointing to the Dynamo forward's strong run of form and Mexico's dearth of options up top.
He happens to be in great form, and most importantly- THE ONLY HEALTHY CENTER FORWARD LEFT AVAILABLE FOR SELECTION. 🇲🇽 https://t.co/peCU92zMDD— herculez gomez (@herculezg) July 2, 2017