U.S. Men's National Team

Bradley discusses Torres


                                                       Photo by ISIphotos.com

Why hasn't Jose Francisco Torres been playing for the U.S. national team lately?

That question has been on the minds of many observers who have wondered about Torres' lack of playing time in recent weeks, including zero appearances in the Confederations Cup. The Pachuca midfielder hasn't played since being replaced at halftime of the U.S. team's loss to Costa Rica, a game where he actually impressed despite a shaky start, and that extended absence has left fans and media wondering what happened.

U.S. coach Bob Bradley spoke to the media on Thursday and provided his first in-depth public comments on Torres and his status with the national team. It certainly sheds some light on where the young midfielder stands with the U.S. team.

“Jose has had a very, very busy schedule with his club team and in discussions we felt that it was important that he have a little bit of a break before things start up again," Bradley said. "When we look at all the different factors, certainly the idea that next summer, players will be coming right from their clubs into training camp that leads into the World Cup.

"You have to make very difficult decisions about whether a player can go a couple years without a break or there’s a need in some cases for a player to have a little bit of a break now before he begins an important stretch."

When asked what Torres needs to work on to improve and increase his role with the national team, Bradley provided even more insight:

“I think it’s just that he’s a young player. I think Pachuca has done a very good job of developing his talent," Bradley said. "If you were to look at the way they have used him in the last couple of years, they have also brought him along at the right speed, and with all that in mind, we look at how he handles things every time he comes into camp.

"He did have an opportunity this year to have a number of appearances in his first year with the national team, and a number of starts, so I think that is a sign from us in terms of our feeling for what he can do for the national team," Bradley said. "With any young player you try to move him along at the right speed—to make decisions about when it’s time to play more, when you need to maybe give it a little more time to see. So we’re in that process, it’s gone well so far and hopefully it will continue to move forward.”

Based on Bradley's comments it does sound as though Torres is in his plans and has not been frozen out by or fallen out of favor with the U.S. coach. We will see in the coming months what Torres' role winds up being and how much better the 21-year-old midfielder can become.

What do you think of Bradley's comments? Do they help give you a better understanding of where Torres stands in the national team picture? Are you more confident that Torres will have a role to play in the coming months and next year? Anxious to see him take the field vs. Mexico on Aug. 12?

Share your thoughts below.

  • harry

    wow, Jimmygreaves tell me where i was bashing Bradly and being predijuce? i was using a comaprison. I thionk its funny your the one with the prejeduce with a player……in fact youd did with Adu with a very recent other thread…your facts were way off on Adu and his goal scoring average and you never responded to the correction. And as i noted i Said Bradleyw as good in my first post in this specific thread.


  • Champe

    JoeW —

    I completely agree. Bradley is doing fine, as far as I’m concerned. Christ, anyone remember Arena refusing to play Dempsey in the World Cup even though he was one of our few viable goal scorers? We’ve had a history of bad personnel decisions and, yes, a history of coaches who have inexplicably relied solely on US college players at the expense of a number of very talented Hispanic players from the southwest who never got into the ODP pool (via club soccer, which is expensive) and, therefore, into college — but this (Torres) ain’t that situation.

    Sure, someday maybe our talent pool will expand, our scouting will improve, and we won’t need to rely on only a handfull of qualified players. But for now, there are only a few real options and Bradley has done very well working with what he has.


  • Jose A. V.

    I was ok with the fact that he didnt play at Confederartions cup. but he should be at Gold Cup. Bradley should have given him a break while at Confederations and then call him in to Gold Cup


  • Never First

    Torres has already said he needs a break and doesn’t want to play in the Gold Cup. No problem there.

    However, this is just gibberish from Bradley. I’m sorry Ives, but this interview provided zero “insight” into the situation. You think he’s going to say anything negative about any player in the national team pool? Of course not. That’s not his style.

    I have no problem bringing Torres along slowly, but our lack of depth killed us in the final. We had no decent subs to bring in the second half. You have to give guys a chance sometime.


  • Phillip

    It’s simple… and I think Bob knows this.

    Torres = Will be at the World Cup next summer representing the United States

    Kljestan = Will not be at the World Cup next summer representing the United States

    Bob pretty much gave Sacha one last chance to prove he could do it at that level.

    Like Pablo Mastroeni (Honduras)… DaMarcus Beasley (Brazil)… Eddie Johnson (Spain)… Bobby Convey (Mexico)…

    We now have Sacha Kljestan (Brazil).


  • zongzap

    I wouldn’t believe a word Bradley says if he swore on a stack of bibles.

    How is Torres any different then any other player that actually plays for his club? He rode the bench for close to a month in the Confed cup and he’s still not rested? Maybe he better get a Jozy or Beasley deal, you know, one where you never play …. but then he’d wouldn’t be in game shape.

    Typical Bradley crapola


  • madmax

    “We were also playing teams like Brazil and Spain in which we had no option but to play two holding mids unless we wanted to have 4-5 goals hung on us. Great as Torres is with the ball, he’s a little dude and wouldn’t have stood a chance defending Kaka or Fabregas.”
    Posted by: Ben

    This would make sense if Bradley didn’t play Kljestan, who can neither hold, defend, pass or shoot. Since he did play Kljestan the above argument makes no sense.


  • madmax

    “But basically he’s played recently because of a lack of real options–we needed a central mid who could defend and go forward. That wasn’t Torres or Adu.”

    Joe, Kljestan could do neither. The second Brasil game the need when Kljestan came on was for someone to hold the ball and the lead, later it was for attack. Again Kljestan could do neither.


  • NYC

    I like what BB said here. I think Torres will be a very important player in terms of developing a different style, where the back line is comfortable putting balls on the turf to the midfield and knowing that he can receive in tight spaces and make the correct and safe decision to attack or be safe. Makes the team so much more dangerous than the constant reliance on sending long balls any time pressure is applied by our opponents.


  • Alex G

    I agree with all of you guys saying that Torres is far better than Kljestan, he has good pace, a great first touch and can pass, something that Sacha has a lot of trouble doing, so I support Torres role in the NATS, well see what happens…


  • Jdavids

    Ives and company, how embarrassing was it every time Connor Casey stepped out on the field? Think in terms of “integrity” and “ability” when answering this debilitating quandary.


  • Scott in Houston

    When BB was talking about Torres needing a break, he was NOT talking about benching him in the Confederations Cup squad. Instead, he was talking about not including him in the Gold Cup squad. He’s saying exactly what Torres said a few days ago — I need a break, because I’ve got a big season coming up.

    His reasons for playing Klejstan instead of Torres in the Confederations Cup might have been complicated:

    On Sacha’s side, bro needs to get some spark back — he’s been a downer since not getting picked up by Celtic. Bob might have thought that showing faith in him now might prove something to Sacha and help him get back on track.

    On Torres’s side, Bob’s concerned about making him a scapegoat for anything. If he puts in Torres and we lose a game in which we were outclassed (the second half of the final against Brazil), then Torres might lose some confidence or get pilloried at websites like this, where people are just too ready to spew.

    I was disappointed that Torres didn’t play, and I think he’s a much better prospect than Sacha, but Michael Bradley was right last week: we don’t know s*** about what happens in the team, and maybe we should reserve our judgment and/or constant questioning of Bradley’s decision-making.



    Sounds like half-truths coming out of Bradley’s mouth to me. But you never know. That fact that Torress and Adu didn’t see a minute, even though we made it to the final, will always make me doubt Bradley’s judgement.


  • BCC

    Anyone who thinks Torres should be taking minutes from Bradley knows nothing about soccer. Period.

    Torres has shown some ability, but I don’t see what the hype is about. He’s been okay, not great. As much as I don’t like Klejstan for his inconsistency, he has shown more at the national level than Torres has.

    I find it hilarious that at this point someone would accuse BB of nepotism.


  • Tony in Quakeland

    I see any credit and good will that Bradley built up bringing us to our first FIFA final lasted about twenty seconds. Everything he said sounds reasonable, not that it makes any difference to people who have already made up their minds.


  • Tony in Quakeland

    Bcc your comment: “Anyone who thinks Torres should be taking minutes from Bradley knows nothing about soccer. Period.”

    Abosulf**kinglutely. A mean, he has to be kidding. right? Unbelievable.


  • martha

    Playing probably would have helped him get to Deportivo la Coruna.

    Now he will probably remain stagnant in Mex.


  • SD

    it is true that we don’t know what happens in training and perhaps torres was tired and so BB didn’t play him as a result.

    But I don’t think that sacha was the right sub in the final against brazil. it is possible that he didn’t want torres’ first minutes to be in a final against brazil…and thus he put in sacha…he scored 3 goals against sweden, who started a young team as well, so i was not convinced of him after that match

    but it doesn’t matter, BB’s tactics will always need to be second guessed. we must remember, the line up he used in the confed cup was the result of injuries, not a stroke of coaching genius. the international game had changed years ago and playing with one striker is no longer effective. and his idea to go with a conservative team on the road…not good. you have to play to win regardless of the venue.

    BB doesn’t have the confidence to field a strong every match. Perhaps the spain and brazil final will show him that at minimum 2 strikers are needed to give the team a chance to win….


  • Tom P

    BB talks that corporate/ political cadence which leaves you thinking when he done talking; ” What did he exactly mean by what he just said”?

    You would have to be James Joyce scholar to derive exactly what was the code in this interview.

    ( All of you who unfortunately have taken a lit. course with Joyce will know getting at. For those lucky enough not have had to Joyce wrote novels that one thing on the surface with some kind of coded cryptic subtext that contained the real truth/meaning that still don’t understand. I dropped the class and took a class on comic books instead – no BS)


  • Leo

    I believe that BB being a Jersey-type of person will show that he does not believe that any “latinos” need to be in “his” team for it to be a winner. Forget Bocanegra-he is a “assimilated non-spanish speaking Mexican American, so I don’t believe he will accept Castillo or much less, Torres.

    They are “too small” not physical and tough players like Bradley or Mastreoni. Sorry, but I don’t expect BB to be calling Torres or Castillo to the national team anytime soon. But, I hope I am wrong. But, the team really played outstanding at th CC. Good luck the rest of the way.


  • jackdude

    Just play him (Torres). BB could not coach himself out a wet paper bag. I still thinks he’s got to go.


  • K. Bowen

    Then why was he on the roster? Why did Bob bring two players he didn’t plan on using? We needed a possession player against Brazil, a guy who could play with it and let the ball do the work. We got Klejstan.


  • The Ghost of Josimar

    Torres may well be tired; it probably was best for him to skip the Gold Cup.

    But he is far, far better than Kljestan. In the current player pool, he is one of the only players who can actually maintain possession and play smart balls out of a central midfield position.

    That Torres got no minutes in the Confederations beggars belief.

    I have made this point several times, but Torres can actually play defense. His defensive work against El Salvador was very good. And really he should be judged by how he plays week in and week out for Pachuca.

    That said, the blunder against Costa Rica — it was ugly.

    Bigger picture:

    Under Bradley we will go forwards playing with lots of heart and all-hands-on-deck defense as we did against Brazil and Spain.

    But we will never get far chasing and defending desperately.

    Eventually we will need to develop a game where we maintain some possession, where the ball does some of the work.

    And Torres is just the type of player who can help the team settle the play and keep the ball.

    Bob Bradley? A good man, probably. But conservative to a fault. Unimaginative. Clings to his favorites when they are way out of form (Beasley) or simply not good enough (Kljestan).

    It’s a real pity we are stuck with him as the manager through 2010.


  • Leonardo

    “Give-away” Sacha haha that’s just too funny and, sadly, true.

    Torres is great. What has Torres said in reply? I’m sure it’s a structured response. I sure would have liked to know Bradley’s thoughts a while back, but it is what it is.


  • Jimmygreaves

    “I dont understand, Torres is in the same situation this year as Braldey Jr……..and bradley was a 90-minute starter during the spring/summer games………was Pops over-working/or show-caseing his son.

    Posted by: harry | July 03, 2009 at 02:34 PM”



    Of course you were bashing Bradley, both of them. You were implying that BB was showing favoritism towards his son by playing him so much in 2007 and why wasn’t he doing that for Torres? This is an insult to Michael Bradley’s potential at the time and ability as well as to his father’s professionalism.

    When MB showed up, there was a very clear need for a good DM. M Bradley was clearly playing a lot in a tough European league. His play since then has clearly justified his Father’s decision. You could argue that his goal against Egypt is the one that turned the tournament around.

    Torres also played regularly in the Mexican league but the role he is auditioning for is not so clearly defined and there is more competition than Bradley had. Bradley clearly fits into the scheme of the USMNT whereas, that is not so clear with Torres.

    As for Adu I responded on the other thread.


  • Jimmygreaves

    I believe that BB being a Jersey-type of person will show that he does not believe that any “latinos” need to be in “his” team for it to be a winner. Forget Bocanegra-he is a “assimilated non-spanish speaking Mexican American, so I don’t believe he will accept Castillo or much less, Torres.

    They are “too small” not physical and tough players like Bradley or Mastreoni. Sorry, but I don’t expect BB to be calling Torres or Castillo to the national team anytime soon. But, I hope I am wrong. But, the team really played outstanding at th CC. Good luck the rest of the way.

    Posted by: Leo | July 04, 2009 at 01:13 AM



    I’m just curious about one thing. You seem to be saying that BB is a (I’m paraphrasing here) “New Jersey type Racist” or whatever that means (I wonder what Ives thinks of that) and does not like “real” latinos.

    So how come he managed to lead CHIVAS USA in 2006 from last place to the playoffs the next year? Didn’t they have a lot of spanish speaking players, Mexican or otherwise? And weren’t some of them small? By the way Mastroeni speaks spanish, well enough that Mexican TV interviews him in Spanish.

    I’d really like an answer.


  • sean

    If Torres needs a break so bad why did BB bring him to the Confederations Cup? I don’t understand why they brought him to the tournament if they had no intention of playing him.


  • Kung Fu Kangaroos

    Interesting dialog between Harry, Jimmygreaves, and Leo. Here’s my 2 cents :-)

    1. I don’t think any of us have any issues of Bradley Jr starting, he is clearly one of our better CM’s.

    2. Many of us (me included) have issues with Sacha getting more playing time than Torres. Torres is clearly the better option to bring into a game as a sub than Sacha.

    3. Torres is tired … so is Dempsey, Bradley, Donovan, Gooch, and Boca. No matter how “tired” he is, you can’t really say he’s too tired to play as a 25 to 35 minutes second half sub in a game or two since Costa Rica.

    4. I don’t think Bob is a racist … but when it comes to the US National Team, I think subconsciously he is more comfortable with what he knows and is used to. That would be “traditional” Americans like African Americans and “white” Americans that came up through the traditional US soccer system … than he is with Mexican hertitage or Latino heritage type players … or even an Adu type of player from Africa. You may point to Gooch, but Gooch was born here, raised in America, and came up through the American soccer system.

    It’s not just Bob … it’s the entire US Soccer Federation. They have basically admitted as much that they are not doing enough to tap into the large latino / hispanic population (or immigrant population for that matter) and that those type of players are essentially falling through the cracks. Torres and Castillo (and Orozco to a certain extent) were discovered by Mexican clubs, not by the US soccer system.

    The US is doing a better job as evidence by the diversity in the US youth squads … but only time will tell if the US fully embraces these type of players or whether they get disenfranchised like a Subotic.

    5. Chivas USA club team and US National Team are two totally different things. In a club, you are pretty much stuck with your roster and can only make changes slowly via trades, drafts, and in collaboration with the GM and/or management of club. On the National Team, you’re the man and can call in who you want (within FIFA guidelines of-course)


  • pablo torres

    Yes but everyone knows the Mexicann heritage players only pass to each other. So you tell me who is being racially biased.

    This is why we need an international coach and Bob should go, Sunil too, we dont need nutty diversity intiatives, we just need a coach who is color blind and can pick talent and mold a team from the multiple playing styles in US.


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