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Mexico fails in bid to flip Torres


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If you think that Jose Francisco Torres’ decision to play for the U.S. national team instead of Mexico didn’t have an impact south of the border, think again.

Not only did the Mexican national team actively recruit Torres at the same time as the United States, Mexico also attempted to convince Torres to change his mind even after Torres was named to the U.S. national team’s 23-man roster for its upcoming World Cup qualifier against Cuba.

Sources with knowledge of the approaches told SBI that Mexican officials lobbied hard for Torres, before and after his decision was made, but Torres stuck by his original decision to play for the United States, his country of birth. The Texas-born Torres will become officially cap-tied to the United States if he appears in either of the U.S. team’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago.

What do you think of Torres’ decision? Does knowing that Torres said no to Mexico twice make you a fan? Think Torres can be an impact player for the U.S. national team in the immediate future?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. “BJR, I really just think it is a limitation of the language. I don’t hear Latinos saying “estadounidense”, either :)”

    Dude…they use estadounidense all the time in Spanish media. Check out the news sometime or pick up a paper.

    gj, ryan. You admitted to abusing illegal immigrants.

    Keep up the good work, but who cares right? Hopefully their kids will forget when it’s time to root for the US vs Mexico. *rollseyes*. I really hope you’re just a terrible writer instead of a racist.

    I mean…I love when people bring up the whole “illegal immigrants” don’t pay taxes therefore they are leeches on society argument. Since you know, they’re basically the lowest social group on the total pole.

    Even though…they’re massively underpaid for the most part and their work ethic is basically “Thank you! May I have another” when they get exploited.

    Luckily, they’re used to it. I mean why should the US be any different than Mexico. They’re starting to look more and more alike everyday. A small group with all the wealth and everyone else scrambling to get by.

    But anyway, I think he picked the US over Mexico for pragmatic reasons. I mean…he’s good but is he better than Giovanni Dos Santos and Andres Guardado?

  2. andy, i just read the overstatement of the year with “MANY mexicans go fight in Iraq only to be called a spic” we dont abuse our troops just the MANY illegals. If your an American soldier odds are you dont ask everyone to speak spanish instead of English, and we also know that you pay taxes. So please spare me on the “all hispanics even the good ones are attacked on a daily basis in the greatest country in the world”

    Onto the topic @ hand- god bless this kid, I really hope he does well and its a great sign, hopefully there are more talented AMERICAN’S coming. He shouldn’t even be known as a Mexican American if anything he is an American with mexican heritage like EVERY OTHER AMERICAN with another nationality somehwere in the family tree

  3. JJ – You missed my point. You’re right, to applaud a player who has given us the honor of being on our squad is extreme but that wasn’t my point. My point was to let him feel appreciated. It’s pretty evident that his spurning of Mexico was partly that very issue, he didn’t feel appreciated. So why not welcome him with a standing o? It’s not like the standing ovation is a medal of honor or some ordination of sorts. It is simply saying, “Hey, we’re glad and excited to have you.” The response from everyone here is a collective “Thank goodness he’s with us rather than Mexico”, so why not just show him that? It’s not like he’s reading Ives’ blog and our comments so why not just do something (which he can see) that shows our excitement?

    As I recall, Cristiano Ronaldo got a standing ovation and applause for just warming up on the sidelines before his first game back with Man U. I don’t think the fans were applauding him because of the honor to have him on the team but just that they appreciate him and are excited that he’s still on the team despite the past summer’s drama.

  4. as a former pachuca employee, i can only say that the us team is now HEAD and SHOULDERS better than the mexican squad. this torres kid is a friggin’ COUGAR. and i dont mean that in the sense of him being an older woman trapped in a young man’s body hunting younger men. i mean that he’s a real footballer. mexico f’ed up on this one. probably because the mexican fed are pretty dumb. SVEN MUST BE P’O’d.

  5. Why should we be applauding and giving standing ovations for a guy who was born in this country and lived here growing up (and presumably somehow benefitted from living in this country) for “choosing” to play for the US? It’s one thing for the guys who were born in a different country but moved here at 12 or something to pick the birth country – I can understand that. But to applaud an American who was born and bred here for giving us the honor to have him on our squad is extreme.

    It says something about how many “Mexican-Americans” view this country. As someone who has attended a few US-Mexico matches in this country, I know what it says.

  6. I am really excited to see Torres play. I am glad he chose the USA to play for. I am sure it will be very difficult when he returns to Pachuca. I applaud him for his choice and his guts.

  7. The Goat- you are blowing that simple comment out of proportion…. was not meant to downgrade the mexican-american who delves deep into their heritage, but rather pointing out that the most mexicans ive met follow the Mexican league over the MLS, they follow the Mexican national team over the US national team, etc. etc….

    i am not saying that they are any less of an american for it…

  8. From Sideline View:

    Now both teams want me, but I’ve chosen the U.S. Since I was little I wanted to play with the U.S. team. I played here in Mexico and developed and to tell the truth, I never thought the U.S. would call me. Now Mexico has called, but I’d made up my mind for the U.S. already.

    Be cool Christian

  9. I don’t often agree with livestock, but you got it right, The Goat:

    Tortillas >> Bread

    World’s worst salsa >> World’s best ketchup

  10. “View themselves as more Mexican than American?”

    Where’s your data? Get real.

    Come to Los Angeles. I ll give you a tour of neighborhoods where you’ll find some of the most patriotic Americans you’ll find anywhere. Or you can be a Chivas USA fan and witness yourself.

    Besides, is it too Mexican to prefer tortillas over bread and biscuits? Is it too Mexican to prefer futbol over the NFL? Is it too Mexican to prefer salsa over ketchup? Don’t be so Jim Rome.

  11. If he gets capped, there needs to be a standing ovation for him at the game. Just something to appreciate his choice and that his tough decision was acknowledged and appreciated. I’m very excited about this move and the start of having more Latinos in the US system (like for the U-17 squad).

    I’m actually quite surprised he stuck with his decision. It must have been tempting to back out of his choice and go with Mexico. But I like him more not because he chose USA or said no to Mexico twice but that he stood by his word. He pledged to play for us and he’ll follow through with it. Very impressed.

  12. People in Mexico are upset because the federation only tried to snatch up Torres after he had committed himself to playing for the US and it was well known around the Mexican media that Torres was going to play for whomever called first.

    FMF dropped the ball on this one but the kid never really knew where he stood regarding the Mexican national team.

    I say he made the right choice and hopefully he doesn’t regret it and plays his heart out for the US.

  13. It will be intresting to see the Mexican fans reaction to Torres, now that he has chosen the US. I hope for his sake people there don’t act like many here do about Rossi.

  14. Christian – there was also an audio clip of torres claiming the reasons he passed on the olympics was for club reasons… both can be related as a few mexican posters in bigsoccer claimed that Pachuca stated encouraged him to wait for a mexican callup that was soon to arrive… but in the audio clip he also states that if the US were to call him up again, he’d probably take it….

    blame the mexican fed on taking their sweet time to call him up… the US were persistent and now mexico scrambles to call him up…. odd looking at this situation from within and not looking at it on the outside O.o

  15. Frank: Actually, I heard plenty of talk about the Mexican nats trying to snatch up the youngster. I heard this on Andres Cantor’s Futbol de Primera radio program yesterday.

    BTW, I was born in Ecuador but consider myself American having grown up here.

  16. I imagine many more Latinos (not just Mexicans) would identify more with being American if they didn’t feel like a significant part of the US population looked at them as second class citizens.

    Unfortunately, many Americans are arrogant and stupid.

    Funny how there are 35 countries residing in The Americas but we are the ones that refer to ourselves as The Americans, meaning uniquely from the US. Maybe its a psychological extension of manifest destiny, or we just think we’re the only ones that matter.

  17. Its nice to see Bradley tapping into the reservoir of young hispanic american talent that are eligible to play for the Nats. I have only heard good things about Torres and wouldnt it be great of our torres strike would win us a world cup vs spain!!! 馃檪

  18. Just curious, does everyone that says, “Torres should play for the U.S. because he was born here” think that Neven Subotic should play for Bosnia and Herzegovina?

    I think it’s up to the player to decide which country they represent.

    I am glad Torres chose the U.S., and I hope Subotic does as well!

  19. Ives;

    I’m not sure who your sources are but Torres gave an interview yesterday and he CLEARLY stated that he wanted to play for Mexico but since they didn’t call him he accepted Bradley’s call.

    The Mexican federation then scrambled to try to convince him to change his mind only after they realized he was going to play for the US.

    here’s a quote from the interview:

    “Ten铆a la ilusi贸n de ir a los Juegos Ol铆mpicos pero la dej茅 pasar por esperar a que M茅xico me llamara y nunca sucedi贸. En cambio, Estados Unidos me sigui贸 llamando desde hace varias semanas y ahora es mi decisi贸n y la de mi familia irme a jugar con su Selecci贸n Mayor la Eliminatoria”

    “I had a dream of playing in the Olympics but I passed it up because I was waiting for Mexico to call me and it never happened.”

    I won’t translate the rest but you get the gist.

    Good luck to the kid, he’s a real good player.

  20. I would like to see more proof of what you claim Ives. I have not read on anywhere on the Mexican soccer websites or on the forums that Mexico was even interested in Torres. He is a midfielder and Mexico is already talent rich at midfield. They need strikers and Torres saw this and chose the US for a chance to go the the World Cup. If Mexico tried to persuade him it was probably just to thwart the US’ plans.

  21. andy – i fully understand, i am simply making the observation that MANY of the mexican americans actually look at themselves as Mexicans first then americans…

    i am not saying that makes them any less american, nor am i saying that they arent american… i am simply pointing out that a large population views themselves that way as well… personally id prefer to leave the hyphonated names at home… if they are born in america or naturalized then they are in fact americans, not some hyphonated breed…

  22. im happy that the nats got a new young star in torres but i hope that he is not exiled from mexico for his decision. To me, this has to be a hard decision to make and hopefully the people down in mexico will respect it.

  23. Brett—many Mexican Americans go fight in Iraq only to come back home and get called spic—-its not just Mexican Americans that deem themselves Mexican

  24. great news. this kid has some serious talent and hes breath of fresh air compared to what we have. I would love to see him establish that left side of midfield for us. Suddenly our attack looks pretty good in the future with altidore, adu, donovan,torres, and dempsey. I cant wait to see him play. Now BB bring in marvell wynne he deserves to see time at RB

  25. Well, hes got a chance to crack our line up. With injury prone DMB, Convey, and Lewis not getting any youger, he can make a case for himself if he proves he can play. we aren’t deep at left midfield if we gotta keep calling in Lewis in, when we trying to build a team for 2010. Dont get me wrong, if the world cup was today, i would have lewis on my bench, but in concacaf qualify, i would look to build. So, because our lack of depth at left mid, that is why Bob continues to call in Lewis. Torres has a legit chance to be in the mix.

  26. I agree with everyone that this is a great sign for the future of US soccer. Look at all of our young talent coming through: Adu, Edu, Kljestan, Altidore, Torres, Rodgers, Bradley, Guzan, Orozco, Wynne, Cooper, Spector, etc.

  27. I’ll jump aboard the “root for him twice as much” train – atta boy! Hopefully he brings along more Mexican-American fans with him.

  28. I really don’t know him as a player, but it is nice to have a report of a man who chooses to represent his country of birth–the good ol’ US of A. Vamos!

  29. AndyinSeattle – ” Many if not most Americans see Mexican-Americans as ‘Mexican-first’ including Mexican-Americans themselves”

    agreed, but mostly based on the 2nd part of that quote, most mexican americans see themselves as more mexican then american…

  30. I seriously doubt that Mexico even wanted him. More than likely they just wanted to do what they could to keep a player away from the USMNT.

  31. Should Torres find success for USMNT, he could change the landscape of how many perceive Mexicans here. Many if not most Americans see Mexican-Americans as ‘Mexican-first’ including Mexican-Americans themselves.

    So here you have a Mexican-heritage Texan who gets his break for one of Mexico’s mightiest teams, but chooses to represent his home country in the world’s game.

    This guy better break through, he’ll be a celebrity!

  32. This is awesome news and hopefully opens the door for more Mexican-Americans to want to play for the US. I think this shows a lot of loyalty for a player the caliber of Torres, and its also good to see Orozco get another call up. If you are born here then you belong on the US team period.

  33. I think he realized just like everyone is starting to realize that Mexico is no longer the king of CONCACAF. Good choice for him!

  34. lol, well if we were wondering if Torres would see PT against Cuba, i think this just answered it…. no way would bob take a chance in not capping him if Mexico is so heavy on capping him….

    his future will depend on his further development as a player, not b/c the mexican national side is hounding to get him….

    and i applaud him for actually sticking to his country of birth… now if only Ferrari would develope further, and also the inclusion of Bernardo, we may in fact have the italian americans support 馃榾


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