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Will Jose Francisco Torres Get His Chance?

  • SI.com, Tuesday, August 11, 2009 5:30 PM

The 23-year-old Longview, Texas, native Jose Francisco Torres has the tools to revolutionize the U.S. national team, says Sports Illustrated's Jonah Freedman. But that doesn't mean Coach Bob Bradley will take him off the bench on Wednesday against Mexico, where Torres plays for Pachuca, the club he joined while in high school.

"The young midfielder is extremely talented, with technical skills you don't often find in the U.S. player pool," writes Freedman. "He's an attacking midfielder who can keep the ball close to his feet and make stunning plays by breaking down defenders or artfully sidestepping them to deliver a perfect pass to an onrushing attacker." But?

Freedman cites a source close to U.S. Soccer saying: "He gives the U.S. a different look when he comes on the field. He looks for the ball in most positions, he wants it at his feet. He can start an attack from a deeper position with shorter passing and combo plays. To be honest, I'm not sure [Bradley] knows how to use him."

Torres hasn't seen action for the Americans since the 3-1 debacle in Costa Rica in June, and didn't take the field in South Africa despite being named to the Confederations Cup roster.  "He has undeniable talent and skill," says former U.S. defender, now ESPN analyst Alexi Lalas. "But his game is geared toward a specific style which is, at least for now, not conducive to what the national team is doing. ... He may be ahead of his time."

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