Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres burst onto the scene in 2013 as a member of Chivas USA, scoring seven goals in his first 15 MLS games. A 15 goal campaign soon followed, sealing Torres’ place among the top scorers in MLS.
But after that, poof, nothing. Torres went scoreless in his first 22 appearances for the Houston Dynamo, prompting an unsuccessful loan to Mexico. However, 2017 has proven a new beginning for the young forward, who is most certainly back in the spotlight.
On Saturday night, Torres recorded a career first hat-trick, against visiting New York Red Bulls, seven years into his professional career. His goals helped the Dynamo earn a 4-1 win, the club’s third in four matches.
The 24-year-old striker currently sits first in the Golden Boot race, leading the league in goals with six after four matches. Torres has been able to contribute a minimum of a goal per game for the Dynamo, who now stand second in the Western Conference table.
“I hope to keep helping the team with goals,” Torres said following Saturday’s win. “I feel extremely happy with the start of the season and my teammates’ hard work, and we have to keep working hard because we have a long road ahead.”
Torres once scored 15 goals in a single MLS season under coach Wilmer Cabrera. This time around, coach the former Chivas USA boss manages Torres in Houston. A reunion with Cabrera has proven a major boost, renewing the forward’s confidence on the pitch.
“Yes, I think that any player that feels backed by coach and entire team will play with confidence and will always give a great performance,” Torres said. “Today I feel confident, happy and backed by the team, which helps me give my best and contribute to the team, which is the most important. If one player does well, the entire team benefits from it, which always the most important objective.”
The five-year MLS veteran has recently found form, which had been missing over the course of the last two seasons. After landing in Houston in 2015, the forward was only able to score a whopping zero goals in 22 matches. Saturday, it took ‘Cubo’ 90 minutes to score three, prompting Cabrera to praise the 24-year-old’s performance.
“I am very happy for him,” said Cabrera. “When you score three goals, your first hat-trick in your career (which) for him has been difficult, it has been a difficult time. Now he is enjoying a good moment, hopefully we can keep it, stay and make it last for his benefit, for the benefit of the team and for the benefit of the whole Houston Dynamo family.”
Torres’ recent success has been no surprise to coach Cabrera, as his past four appearances have made him reminisce of what he did for him in 2014.
“I have known Erick Torres since I had him with Chivas USA and he scored 15 goals for a team in which we found him on the sideline,” Cabrera said on Saturday. “I know that Erick Torres can score because he scored 15 goals in a team that was not so good and this team has better players and is better structured.
“It was matter of focusing, gaining confidence, and giving him support and connecting him with the players so that when playing he could do what he knows, which is scoring goals.”