It’s easy to compare multiple goal poachers to Manchester United’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, but none is as identical to the acclaimed forward as Erick Torres is.
If you’re a MLS fan and don’t know who Torres is, you must have been living under a rock since the middle of 2013. The Mexican that’s generally referred to as “El Cubo” or just “Cubo” has been a real menace since his loan move from Club Deportivo Chivas de Guadalajara. Despite plying his trade for an excruciatingly disappointing Chivas USA side, Cubo has managed to score 17 goals in just 30 appearances.
To an average soccer admirer, Torres’ stat might not be mind-blowing because of the incomprehensible numbers the likes Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo put up. However, the fact that the Mexican youngster scores that many goals while playing for the worst franchise in MLS is beyond belief.
In order to understand the type of forward Torres is, all one has to do is watch Hernandez. Both players are instinctive, full of life and always look to turn every chance into a goal.
“Cubo is a player that wants to score and works hard every day to try to score,” Chivas head coach Wilmer Cabrera said. “He loves to be around the goal. He tries all these possibilities and he’s been scoring a lot this year. It’s good for him and good motivation for the rest of the team to have him.”
Bleacherreport.com’s Laura Greene described Chicharito as “quick, good with both feet and a great header of the ball.”
The same can be said of Cubo, but unlike his Guadalajara predecessor, he is taller, a little bit more imaginative and he is a regular starter. The only thing better than his goals is his illustrious robot celebration.
Torres is that guy that defenders have nightmares about. Nothing a center back does seem to slow him down. His strength for someone who isn’t that physically imposing is absolutely astonishing.
To make matters worse for opposing MLS defenders, his composure on the ball is just as good as that of a top European forward. According to Whoscored.com, he completes 75.2 percent of his passes, wins 2.2 aerial duels per game and is fouled 2.1 times per game. Those numbers are extremely impressive for someone who’s always isolated with two center halves draping all over him.
The ebullient finisher rarely gives up on 50-50 challenges and his Hernandez-esque relentless approach to scoring goals is what’s keeping Chivas alive this season. Of the 15 goals the Goats have scored in the 2014 season, 10 belong to the Guadalajara, Mexico native.
Just like Hernandez, Torres always pops up in the right place at the right time to score the crucial goals. For example on Saturday against Real Salt Lake, Torres was the catalyst that propelled Chivas to its third victory of the season.
Off a harmless play, Torres managed to score the best goal of this MLS season. The initial play broke down, but the No.9 remained a threat. He received a delightful ball inside the box, and just like Hernandez would have done, he riffled it past the helpless ‘keeper.
That goal catapulted him past Cuauhtémoc Blanco as the all-time Mexican-born top scorer in MLS history.
“It’s something that has me very happy and joyous inside,” He said. “I’m thrilled to be able to make history in the United States and in this league. Cuauhtémoc Blanco is an idol for me. He’s a player I grew up watching, so to surpass him in goals scored here is something I can’t even describe.”
Even though it’s only a matter of time before Torres returns to Liga MX ‒ and subsequently transfers to a big European club – the cheerful forward has left a huge mark in MLS. And sooner rather than later, he’ll begin his page in the Mexican history books, most likely alongside Chicharito’s.
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