The Concacaf Olympic qualifiers are just five weeks away, and as part of its preparation Mexico has summoned an MLS player for an under-23 training camp -- the Mexican federation refers to the team as its "sub-22" national team.
Dynamo forward Erick “Cubo” Torres will attend the training camp next week during which Mexico will play the youth teams of UNAM Pumas and Cruz Azul as well as Panama’s U-23 team. The camp starts Monday and runs until Sept. 8.
Houston gets a scheduling break during the camp; after a home game against Vancouver Saturday, it doesn’t play again until Sept. 12 against Real Salt Lake, so Torres won’t miss any MLS games because of the callup.
For the qualifying tournament, Mexico has been placed in Group B along with Honduras, Haiti and Costa Rica. Mexico opens the competition Oct. 2 against Costa Rica at StubHub Center. The USA will play Panama, Cuba, and Canada in Group A. The top two teams in each group advance to the semifinals, the winners of which qualify for the 2016 Olympic men's soccer competition. The semifinal losers play off for third place and the winner of that game squares off against Colombia for a ticket to the Olympics.
Former RSL defender Carlos Salcedo, who plays for Chivas, was also called to the Mexico camp.
Torres, 22, returned from a loan to Chivas in July and has appeared as a sub for the Dynamo in five consecutive games. He’s not scored a goal nor registered an assist in 113 minutes of play.
After joining Chivas USA on loan from Chivas in 2013, Torres scored 22 goals in 44 games during the past two seasons. In December MLS exercised the transfer option in his loan deal to buy his rights at a reported price of $7.5 million, and he was loaned back to Chivas for six months. He is one of two Designated Players on the Houston roster -- DaMarcus Beasley is the other -- and his guaranteed compensation for the 2015 season is $425,000.