This time next year, Erick Torres is probably going to be playing in Mexico with big Chivas. That's where he seems to want to be and they seem to want him. It's too bad.
Torres is a player you can't really build around in MLS. He's a scorer and really not much else. No hold-up play, not much playmaking to speak of. If he played here long enough, the league would probably figure him out and make his life really miserable.
But right now, in the middle of his second season, he's in a near perfect situation. Chivas USA is barely a real team. They don't face any of the kinds of pressure that literally every other MLS team faces, like making their fans or owners or anyone else upset because they aren't very good. It's a cheap punchline, but it's still very true that no MLS team has fewer people who really care how they perform. That's too bad, because Torres deserves an audience.
Just check out the clip of the goal above. It's awesome. He picks the ball out of the air and just rifles into the upper 90. He does this kind of stuff with remarkable regularity. It was his 10th goal of the season and the 17th of his MLS career -- which is just 29 games old, by the way. And he plays with a joy that should be infectious, but somehow doesn't really seem to be. After virtually every goal he runs over to the corner flag, tells his teammates to give him some space and then busts out this ridiculous robot dance. It's awesome and everyone in the league should be falling in love with this guy, one dimension, crappy popping-and-locking and sorry-sack franchise aside.
Instead, he'll probably end up being a footnote in the history of the league, a guy who people say "Man, remember Cubo Torres? He was fun. Why aren't there more guys like that?"
But maybe this mysterious new owner of Chivas USA -- who is supposedly going to be announced after the World Cup -- will surprise us all and give us the gift of a permanent Torres transfer. We can dream anyway.