Torres has forgettable night at left back in Copa MX loss to Monterrey

Jose Torres Tigres UANL 1 (Getty Images)


A week after scoring a memorable wonder-goal for Tigres UANL, Jose Torres had quite a forgettable performance in Copa MX play.

Torres endured a rough night at the office on Wednesday night, as Tigres allowed a two-goal lead to slip away before falling to Monterrey in penalty kicks, 4-2. Torres was at the brunt of the defeat, being partially responsible for Monterrey’s first goal and failing to convert his chance in the penalty kick shootout.

The U.S. Men’s National Team veteran was deployed at left back rather than his usual center midfield position in the match. He reportedly fared well in the first half, but allowed Cesar Delgado to spark Monterrey’s second-half rally with a goal in the 65th minute.

After the 2-2 draw, Torres was the first to take a penalty kick for Tigres but his shot from 12 yards out was weak and easily dealt with.

Torres and Tigres return to Liga MX action on Saturday with a home game against Toluca.

What do you think of Torres’ performance? Not too surprised he struggled given that he played at left back? Wondering why he was deployed there?

Share your thoughts below.

  • PD

    Forgive my ignorance, but can someone please explain to me why there is a seemingly endless paucity of quality LB players? Why is this position to difficult to fill for club and country the world over? Would love to hear some thoughts…


    • AlexH

      My guess is that modern fullbacks need to have offensive skills, defensive skills, fitness to get up and down the field and in the case of a LB, preferably be left footed.


    • Josh D

      The root of the problem is that most people don’t have a left foot. Sidebacks are today what wingers were 10 years ago: their job is to hug the “chalk” and pop crosses in. Defending is only half of their game. Having to cut in to get the ball on your dominate foot makes for a weaker cross and is usually very easy to defend.

      As PD noted, sidebacks in today’s game need to be able to dribble. That’s why you see so many wingers acting as sidebacks (Valencia for United to name one).

      Another example closer to home: Cameron is a starting RB in the PL. However, he plays for a team that traditionally tell their SBs to just boot the ball upfield and out of danger. They don’t usually join in the attack. It’s almost like having four CBs. Which is why he’s having a difficult time translating his experience into USMNT camps. Luckily, with Hughes, Stoke are finally moving away from that fortress mentality. Cameron is a traditional defensive-first SB, not a modern day one.

      So by the time you’ve filtered out right footers and players who can dribble/cross, you get a very small number.


      • The Imperative Voice

        My two cents the harder “get” is someone who can play defense. For example, Castillo can get forward pretty well (and FJ) but I’m not big fans of either’s defense. The whole problem with Torres back there is it’s this “getting forward is what we really need” sensibility. Teams are always trying to push plentiful left wings backward and then surprised to find out they can’t play defense.

        What you really need is someone who can hold down their flank and then what you get in addition is the bonus.

        As a defender, I still remember the few people who got by me and scored in college. I think it’s watering down expectations to start saying allowing one goal is pretty good for playing out of spot. Allowing very many goals at all is a disqualifying condition. Which I think is the more apt analysis. It doesn’t sound like he’s ready for defense, at least in that level of game. For that matter, his approach to the game never really hinted at him being suited anyway……what made them think he’d get stuck in and mercilessly hold a flank? They must have thought he’d be valuable “going forward” and got burned for it. Never forget the prime directive of defense…..playing defense.


    • Mueller

      A lot of teams use Inverted wingers and require the fullbacks to get width. It is easier to get width if your dominant foot is closer to the sideline. More right-footed people in the world than left-footed.


    • Lost in Space

      Approximately 12% of the world population has Left side dominant. Say 50% of that populous play sports. Now take 1% of that for those who can play at a professional level, and you see that difficulty in finding people to fill the LB position for club & country.
      6 Billion People = 720M Lefties in the world
      360M play athletics
      3.6M can play at a professional level
      1.8M are male
      270K are in the 20-35 age bracket
      67K that play Soccer/Football
      That’s a pretty small number to spread around the world…And I was probably estimating on the high side.


  • bryan

    good, he shouldn’t be playing LB. if he had a good performance, JK could have been tempted. like him in midfield, not at LB.

    did anyone read that article on MLS about giving Jones or Edu a shot at LB??? no thank you.


  • Josh D

    Torres played well. A single mistake over 120 minutes, in a position you’re not familiar with, is a solid outing. A missed penalty? Happens to everyone, and his lone goal wasn’t singularly responsible for their defeat (someone else missed too).

    With a title like this article’s, I was expecting Torres to be at fault for three goals, to get a red card, then being told he’s booted from the team. Crisis averted.


  • White Kix

    Too bad Tigres didn’t have a seldom used left back with World Cup experience at their disposal. As much as people love to bash Bornstein (I was never a fan of him for the nats, but he did have a decent performance in teh World Cup), I would take him at left back over Torres at left back any day.


  • jones

    What would you expect for a CM playing LB?

    Not sure why this was deemed newsworthy…it makes little sense to run an entire post of “oh btw, so-and-so performed poorly when played out of position.” Now if he is started there regularly, then you have an article.


  • Jim

    This seems like a cheapshot article! Agree with others that bigger question is why he was played there in the first place. I’ve always like his play but would agree that he doesn’t always seem to bring that fire in the gut to his play.


    • MaxRecline

      Agreed. Definitely a cheapshot article and definitely hearsay. “He reportedly fared well in the first half…” This tells me that Mr. Panzio didn’t actually see the game and is in no position to evaluate Torres’ performance.

      This kind of article is not up to SBI standard. The only information that is verifiable is that Torres played, missed his PK, and Tigres lost. Everything else is second hand opinion.

      Then people wonder why some fans have widely varying opinions on USMNT players. The answer is some people read articles like this, while others actually watch them play.


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