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'Technically gifted' Torres enjoys new chapter
by Mike Woitalla, September 2nd, 2011 12:09AM

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TAGS:  americans abroad, men's national team, mexico


[USA SPOTLIGHT] At age 22, Jose Torres played 45 minutes for the USA at the 2010 World Cup, then never heard from Coach Bob Bradley again. Jurgen Klinsmann’s arrival has given the Texan who’s played in Mexico for seven years another chance.

A brilliant performance in the penultimate World Cup warm-up against Turkey raised expectations that Torres could play a key role for the USA in South Africa. But once there, he stayed on the bench for the final warm-up game against Australia and the 1-1 opener against England. Bradley started Torres in the USA’s second game, but yanked him after 45 minutes with Slovenia ahead, 2-0. The USA came back to tie, 2-2.

“It was a great experience playing for Bob,” said Torres, who left his Longview, Texas, home at age 16 for Pachuca. “He gave me an opportunity to get a World Cup in. But I played just 45 minutes and I never heard from him again. I decided to keep working hard and hoping I’d get called back.

“I was feeling better with Pachuca, and when I heard that Klinsmann was hired, I thought I had a good shot at getting called back.”

In Klinsmann’s debut as U.S. coach, he started Torres in the 1-1 tie against Mexico last month.

“Technically, he’s a very gifted player,” Klinsmann said. “He can keep the ball. You can pass him the ball under pressure. And he knows how to handle situations where the space is really tight. It’s important that you can pass to a midfielder who knows what he’s doing with the ball.

“Jose is stepping it up more and more. He’s feeling more comfortable, more part of the group. I think it’s just a growing process for him. The more he’s here, the more he understands his role, and the more comfortable he gets.”

Torres plays in the central midfield for Pachuca, but Klinsmann used him wide in the first half against Mexico before moving him centrally in the second half, when Torres and his teammates played much better and came back for a 1-1 tie.

“We didn’t know how to pressure Mexico in the first 45 minutes,” Torres said. “When we tried to pressure Mexico, they’d move the ball very well and open the field. In the first half, I don’t think any of us did very well. The second half was different. The subs came on and they responded. And I moved in the middle, getting more on the ball.”

Torres made his first-team debut for Pachuca one month before his 19th birthday in 2006 and broke into the starting lineup in 2008, a year in which he played all three games at the FIFA Club World Cup. He’s played more than 100 league games and is, at 23, one of the veterans on a team that had a major overhaul last season.

“Pachuca is very small but a nice place to live and am very grateful,” says Torres, who is married to Alexia, a Pachuca local. Their 9-month-old is named Mia.

“I wanted Sofia and Alexia wanted Mia,” said Torres. "The woman gets her way … She’s not named after Mia Hamm, but I hopefully she’ll play. She’ll decide what to do, but I’ll always be there to support her and help her out.”



14 comments
  1. David Sirias
    commented on: September 2, 2011 at 8:13 a.m.
    It was Torres who made the key defensive tackle late in the game the resulted in the John B goal that vaulted the USA into the world cup in the hex. ( yes we were nail biting again after another poor hex) He CAN defend. But he should always have a true destroyer behind him or next to him centrally. Torres problem was not Torres. It was Bob. Who had to have Mike in the game. But most of you know that.

  1. Charles Stamos
    commented on: September 2, 2011 at 10:12 a.m.
    David - I agree with you on Torres who has all the skills to play in the middle. I can make an argument for a central midfield of Donovan, Torres, and yes Bradley. You get most of the creative offense from the first two and defense from the last two. Bradley is not afraid of going in hard on the tackle and can hit the hard long shot. I see Donovan's strength is his vision to create an attack, but he is weak defending. He will track down his opponent with his speed to his credit. Torres has the skill that neither of the other two have, ball control in a tight spot. If those three can maximize their strong points and not be exposed for their weaknesses, they can be a force for the US. I say give them a shot and see what happens.

  1. John Paz
    commented on: September 2, 2011 at 10:29 a.m.
    Charles, I like that midfield lineup very much, and it gives you lots of options for subs. We go a goal up against a great team and you can put in Edu, Jones, or (gasp!) Rico. Edu off the bench can be shaky, but the guy has wheels, tackling, passing, and poise. Him for Bradley doesn't leave a drop off of anything but work rate, and to win a game you're already up you need calm and poise. Those two things you must admit are MB90's weaknesses. Jones is a seasoned pro and tends to give a consistent, ballsy effort every time. And if he comes off the bench it means he hasn't picked up his first yellow yet, so he's free to be that De Jong-style enforcer (minus the karate kick...). Where would you put Deuce in that formation? Out wide or up top?

  1. John Paz
    commented on: September 2, 2011 at 10:35 a.m.
    And then (sorry, didn't finish my thought), if we need more offense thru the middle, you can sub out MB90 and/or JFT for Stuie, that is unless you had him starting out wide as well. Call me crazy, but I also would like Adu out on the left wing. He's got quality service, it limits his exposure to defensive mental lapses, and gives him that chance to take people on 1v1 and make that creative play we've seen him do pretty consistently. He makes great decisions and has vision that I think only Dempsey can compare with. The kid sees the passing lanes. I am not convinced Donovan should play the CAM role, at least not without giving Freddy or Deuce a shot at it as well. Donovan's runs are dangerous, yes, but his control leaves much to be desired in tight spaces. Put him on the wing and let him run all day.

  1. Alberto Mora
    commented on: September 2, 2011 at 10:53 a.m.
    Plain and simple: If someday the US become world power in soccer will be thanks to the latino futbol, just take a look to those numbers in the european leagues.

  1. Daniel Clifton
    commented on: September 2, 2011 at 11:27 a.m.
    I would like to see more of Torres in the middle. I don't think he has yet showed what he can do. I think Donovan should have the freedom to roam from side to side. I agree that the is not proficient in handling tight spaces. I like the idea of Adu on the left side. His vision is excellent. I also think he could play up top in a two forward system with a guy like Altidore or Dempsey. It is going to be interesting to see what Dempsey's role will be. I think Dempsey needs to be playing up top or as an attacking central midfielder. The problem for the US is there seems to be a number of guys who would best fit that position (such as Stuart Holden). I am not crazy about the one forward formation. It depends on how you play it. A 4-5-1 can easily become a 4-3-3 or vice versa.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: September 2, 2011 at 11:52 a.m.
    Well said Mora. Good to see people with common sense.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: September 2, 2011 at 2:15 p.m.
    Hello, but first thank you Mike Woitalla for another fine balanced article on Torres. As early and young as the Coach Klinsmann era is, especially if you read Los Angeles Times' piece on him by Graham Jones, and the other one on Klinsmann assessment of Donoval, the mere fact that Coach Klinsi is willing to let one know his thoughts and unabashed evaluation of the player pool, the better I feel. So what Luis Arreola and Alberto Mora have said, it will take time and I feel that time will only tell. And BTW, I've been to Pachuca and it is a wonderful old mining city, but what surprised me is that dab smack in the middle fo the city one will find a somewhat small replica of Big Ben, yes like Englands iconic clock tower! Why? The area was a thriving silver mining town way back when, and the English came in to work the mines, and in so doing, left the futbol legacy, making FC Pachuca the first Mexican pro team, and if one explores the city closely and checks out the eateries, one will find variatiopns of Englis turn overs, and pies, yes indeed. Anyhow, just thought you'd like to know....

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: September 2, 2011 at 2:57 p.m.
    Gracias Ric, and yes Mike thank you for the article. Surprised Paul or Ridge didn't beat you to it, lol.

  1. Charles Stamos
    commented on: September 2, 2011 at 9:28 p.m.
    I don't like calling the l/u a 4-5-1 or 4-4-2, it's supposed to be total soccer, so say you play Altidore up top with Donovan behind him, Adu and Dempsey (or a faster player) on his wings, Torres and Bradley behind Donovan, creating multiple passing angles, and then a back line to be determined; i.e. who plays the left back? The problem is for this to work at the World Cup level these players need a lot more time together.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: September 2, 2011 at 10:02 p.m.
    Stup, this is called pride and there is nothing wrong with this. You are offended because you are in fact racist. It seems that at this time it is offensive to be proudly Hispanic in USA. I m not worried Becquerel it is a inevitable phase in this country that Italians, Irish, Black's, etc. have had to go through. What's amazing is that some people can not evolve from these negative sentiments of their forefathers. That's ok. There are many Hispanics that know how to deal with this ignorance. Stuper, if these comments offend you racially, you should really take a harder look at yourself. Arriba MEXICO!!!!??

  1. Alberto Mora
    commented on: September 3, 2011 at 1:52 p.m.
    When I decided to join the Soccer America comments section I was under the impression that the participants had certain degree of maturity and common sense but apparently some of you folks are showing that you need to grow into adulthood. In my comment above I made reference to the article itself not race, it happens that the player here is from latin origen and hispanic people come in different colors and sizes (including green and blue eyes)living without the bigotry of the North American continent. So just knock it off and grow up!!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: September 3, 2011 at 1:58 p.m.
    Stuper, Is Moral racist to? I fail to see what makes me racist. You should elaborate. Everybody else seems to agree with me. You should take a hard look in the mirror, ese.

  1. Rudy Espindola
    commented on: September 3, 2011 at 2:57 p.m.
    Ric you just made my day ! I remember my Grandmother telling my Dad about Grandpa playing against the Britts while taking brakes during the mining excavation, Mexicans VS Britts everyday !! for a long period of time. Did they learn something from each other ?? I bet you they did !! that was back in the 1920's ?? probably. another remarkable result from the blending of cultures.


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