By FRANCO PANIZO
Jose Francisco Torres was recently battling a hamstring injury, but you wouldn't know it after the goal he scored in Pachuca's latest game.
Torres scored his first goal of the Mexican League season by launching the winner in Pachuca's 5-3 victory over Puebla with just six minutes to play. Torres struck a picture-perfect free kick that left Puebla goalkeeper Jorge Villalpando motionless, and the U.S. national team midfielder followed up his strike with a somersault celebration.
Torres wasn't the only player to get on the scoresheet this weekend. Freddy Adu netted his first goal for Aris Salonika in the club's 2-1 victory over Ergotelis. The goal was Adu's first at the club level since scoring for Benfica during the 2007-2008 season.
Michael Bradley didn't score this weekend, but he did help create a goal in Borussia Moenchengladbach's 2-1 win over Nurnberg. Bradley showed great accuracy and vision as he released a ball from his own half behind Nurnberg's defense, sparking the sequence to Moenchengladbach's first goal.
Here is how the Americans Abroad performed this weekend:
- Clint Dempsey did not dress in Fulham's 4-0 win vs. Notts County in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- Brad Friedel started, played 90 minutes and made three saves in Aston Villa's 2-2 draw vs. Crystal Palace in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
Brad Guzan dressed but did not play in Aston Villa's 2-2 draw vs. Crystal Palace in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
Stuart Holden dressed but did not play in Bolton Wanderers' 1-1 draw vs. Tottenham Hotspur in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
COCA COLA CHAMPIONSHIP
- Kenny Cooper dressed but did not play in Plymouth Argyle's 3-1 win vs. Barnsley on Saturday.
- Ian Joyce did not dress in Southend United's 1-1 draw vs. Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.
- Zak Whitbread did not dress in Norwich City's 2-1 win vs. Brighton on Saturday.
- Mike Grella came off the bench and played 15 minutes in Leeds United's 1-1 draw vs. Leyton Orient on Saturday.
- Jemal Johnson started and played 75 minutes in Stockport County's 2-2 draw vs. Colchester United on Saturday.
- Jon-Paul Pittman came off the bench and played 9 minutes in Wycombe Wanderers' 1-1 draw vs. Brentford on Saturday.
- Maurice Edu dressed but did not play in Rangers' 3-0 win vs. Hibernian on Sunday.
- DaMarcus Beasley started and played 45 minutes in Rangers' 3-0 win vs. Hibernian on Sunday.
- Dominic Cervi did not dress in Celtic's 4-4 draw vs. Aberdeen on Saturday.
- Oguchi Onyewu did not dress in AC Milan's 3-2 win vs. Udinese on Friday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- Michael Bradley started, played 90 minutes and helped set up a goal in Borussia Moenchengladbach's 2-1 win vs. Nurnberg on Friday.
- Steve Cherundolo did not dress in Hannover 96's 5-1 loss vs. Werder Bremen on Saturday. He is recovering from a shoulder injury.
- Sal Zizzo did not dress in Hannover 96's 5-1 loss vs. Werder Bremen on Saturday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- Jermaine Jones did not dress in Schalke 04's 2-0 win vs. FC Cologne on Sunday. He is recovering from a leg injury.
- Ricardo Clark did not dress in Eintracht Frankfurt's 2-1 win vs. SC Freiburg on Sunday. He is recovering from a calf injury.
- Luis Robles and Kaiserslautern play MSV Duisburg on Monday.
- Matt Taylor did not dress in FSV Frankfurt's 0-0 draw vs. St Pauli on Friday.
- David Yeldell dressed but did not play in TUS Koblenz's 0-0 draw vs. Hansa Rostock on Sunday.
- Carlos Bocanegra dressed but did not play in Stade Rennes' 1-0 loss vs. AJ Auxerre on Sunday.
- Charlie Davies did not dress in Sochaux's 0-0 draw vs. Le Mans on Saturday. He is recovering from multiple injuries.
- Freddy Adu started, played 62 minutes and scored a GOAL in Aris Salonika's 2-1 win vs. Ergotelis on Sunday.
- Eddie Johnson started and played 62 minutes in Aris Salonika's 2-1 win vs. Ergotelis on Sunday.
- Jose Francisco Torres came off the bench, played 45 minutes and scored a GOAL in Pachuca's 5-3 win vs. Puebla on Sunday.
- Edgar Castillo and Tigres UANL play Pumas UNAM on Sunday evening.
- Marco Vidal started and played 90 minutes in Indios de Ciudad Juarez's 1-1 draw vs. San Luis on Saturday.
- Herculez Gomez came off the bench and played 33 minutes in Puebla's 5-3 loss vs. Pachuca on Sunday.
- Michael Hoyos started and played 62 minutes in Estudiantes La Plata's 3-2 loss vs. Independiente on Sunday.
What do you think of these performances? Think Torres should take free kicks for the U.S. national team? Do you see Adu's form improving? Did you like Bradley's pass?
Share your thoughts below.
If I haven’t already made it clear, I’m dead certain Torres will be at the World Cup and may, in fact, be playing a bigger role than we’re used to seeing. He’s certainly more valuable than Holden, a pretty average international player at the moment.
Most of your questions and comments on the team fall into the category of you’d have to ask the manager.
So you should ask him.
For example, Adu and Torres did not play a minute in the Confederations Cup. In light of the fact that DMB and Sascha were beyond pathetic, you have to wonder. Based on what little I could dig up it seems that Torres was exhausted and presumably was not showing well in practice and Adu also was not showing well in practice. That is an assumption on my part.
The Italy and Brazil games were bad and you have to wonder why not throw those two on just to see what they have? Then I remember that the US was not yet out of the competition so it was important to keep the damage to what it was. If the US had conceded one more goal in either of those games they would not have advanced. Bradley could not have known that but he did know that they were not mathematically out of it yet. I don’t see how you can argue against playing at 100% until it’s really over. That means you don’t throw the two guys who have little or no experience out there.
You might have but Bradley is a conservative coach and he will go with what he believes in and it was his neck on the line, not yours. Anyway, we all know how it turned out.
Torres and Adu missed out on some valuable experience but the USMNT went on to a confidence boosting run and two great games against the two teams that are arguably the current World Cup favorites. I’ve been watching the USMNT since 1990 and, other than the 2002 WC, I can’t recall a more meaningful run.
This is my interpretation of what happened but it’s just speculation. I wasn’t at the practices and in the locker room or at the team and coaches meetings. I don’t know what went into the decisions that were made.
Unlike you, I don’t believe in criticizing a decision when I don’t have all the information on why it was made. And I would add that unless I’m greatly mistaken, you don’t have any more inside knowledge about it than I do.
Maybe Sascha is blackmailing Bradley. On the other hand, if Sascha ever got his act together, he could be an awesome force. Who knows? I will say this about Holden. He did very well in the Gold Cup and has been living off that ever since, it seems to me.
Since then he has been just average and, for me, if it came down to him or Torres, I ‘d take Torres. But, they will both be going, though Torres is more of a mortal lock. What I would really like to do with Holden is give his skill to Beckerman; then you’d really have a player.
I dislike micromanaging. My view is that it’s Bradley’s job to assemble the best US squad available from a pretty average player pool. He has done that and, if things go well, they have a shot at making a good run in this World Cup. If they screw it up then fine fire him and move on. But until the World Cup is over, I won’t give him a final grade.
JD, I think NOW Bradley Jr is well established but he got a lot of confidence from his dad when he was always getting unnecessary red cards and there were other players like Edu, Clark and Benny and later Torres who could of brought more if not the same as Bradley Jr when he had bad games. If you notice he never comes out, never.
The red card vs Spain was just childish, and sure enough we could of used him as a starter or even a sub vs Brazil in the final of the Confeds.
I for one don’t think he doesn’t deserve to start, but you can’t deny the opportunities given to him were very cosistant regardless of his play with the national team.
I was the first to be impressed with his goals in Holland, but like you said that was in 07-08. I think we all know this is about what have you done for me lately. Many have tried to say they were alwasy poachers goals, but more important is the fact that he doesn’t seem to play like that for the US, not consistantly at least.
I think he’s our starting center mid box to box type of guy. The other Center mid to me depends on the rival and more often than not, who’s healthy?
I think I am going to stop posting because my post looks WEAK compare to all these ESSAYS being posted hahaha
Torres is an ASSET due to the fact that he plays for Pachuca. One of the best teams in North and South America.
So according to you Torres turned down the Gold Cup right?
Funny thing is I’ve read several comments about how they had to decide on one of the 2 summer tournaments. And since he needed to get lasik or some sort of eye surgery the Confederations Cup being the more important and prestigious as well as the earlier of the two was decided as the tournament he would play in. So I don’t know about you but that doesn’t necessarily seem like Torres turned down the Gold Cup does it?
His team was in the middle of the season in November and they were trying to make a playoff spot, I believe the were barely on the bubble but missed it eventually.
I called out Jeff because it seems that he sarcastically called Torres a questionable player, which I find very very erronious to begin with. But to say that people just hype him because he’s from a Mexican decent, that just boils my blood. Mexico’s league is not the best, but I think is pretty safe to say they are probably in a very close argument for the 3rd best league this side of the Atlantic after Brazil & Argentina. MLS and the rotating other top leagues in South America compete for the 3rd spot but that’s it.
Obviously Europe is the measuring stick, but they do have a good league. The biggest argument is why not give guys like Torres more time?
I disagree with you, in the past Torres was in competition with Pablo, Sacha, Beckerman and Rogers for PT during qualifying. In the Confederations Cup Clark got red carded then Sacha came in although I would of been happy if they both stayed on the bench and Davies was the 2nd forward, sice as we all know that proved to be the best formation.
I don’t want to get into why does Bob not play Castillo or Orozco, because it’s pretty obvious why one has played and Orozco well other than this last game and the Gold Cup, I dont think has had many chances, maybe November, but he was involved in playoffs.
My biggest problem with your comment is two things. how can you say Bob has spent time on Torres? He played him what maybe 40 minutes since the CR game?
And I didn’t even mention Bob Bradley once, so how can you accuse me of saying or implying that he’s racist?
Nor sure if Bob has done something to show he has some disliking against Latin players to be honest with you, I think he’s far more hard headed.
I think is funny how he said, along with Donovan supporting it which I found shocking, that players need to “earn” their way into the national team and more specifically when it comes to starting.
This was said after the game in Nashville vs T&T in regards to how he finally started Jozy in an official game that mattered where the full team played, I know he played in CO vs Guatemala but that game was meaningless, and if he felt like maybe he should have considered this earlier?
Funny, I saw Stuart Holden get right into the mix of things both at the Gold Cup and in the 2nd half of qualifying despite only having 1 camp under his belt. Last year in Jan he was due to play but I believe he got hurt right before the game vs Sweeden.
How does Holden come on automatically before Torres in Mexico City where Torres is actually used to playing? Or how does jozy not start for that matter?
I mean Holden started getting in at the 60th minute and so on until Dempsey got hurt and missed the last 2 or 3 qualfying games.
I recall Jozy getting garbage time until the game in El Salvador despite moving to Spain at the age of what 18, 19? And scoring a beauty of a goal the last time we played Mexico before the 3 games of 09!
Bob tends ot stick with players he has a history with. And it’s hurt us big time.
I for one think Torres is probably a 65-70th minute sub, and in some games he should start. I agree is a matter of strategy.
But like I said how does putting in a defender for a mid, Bornstein, and another mid who’s already proved unrealiable and card prone, Sacha, for one of our most dangerous fowards in Jozy makes sense in terms of strategy?
Brazil had just tied the game, at that point that conservative containing mind set should of gone out the window. How does Torres, Adu and Jozy not see the field after that? If Benny was really that tired and needed a boost, Torres was perfect for ball posession and with Clark in there they could of allowed him to be the creative guy.
Adu one of the only guys on that bench with 1 on 1 skills stays on the bench for Sacha? Come on
Ahhhhhhhhh! Too many words!
Gee Edwin, you must be having a bad weekend!
Where to start?
You are 100% correct when you say I don’t know you. Therefore, I can only respond to exactly what you write and how that appears to come across on the post. Your extensive knowledge about the game is irrelevant if your writing makes it seem like you don’t know nothing. If you aren’t very specific in your writing don’t blame the readers for coming to the wrong conclusion.
That is one reason why attempts at humor and sarcasm often fall flat on SBI; unless you are a far better writer than just about everyone, including me, who posts on SBI, the nuance is lost and with that goes the point of humor and sarcasm.
You have been on SBI often enough to know there are frequently posters who either imply or state clearly that Bradley must have something against Mexicans or Latinos since he doesn’t play their favorite Latinos such as Castillo, Orozco or Torres as often as they would like; never mind that the USMNT has had a long tradition of players with Hispanic heritage such as Perez, Ramos, Balboa, Reyna, Clavijo, Mastroeni, Llamosa, Boca, Bornstein, Feilhaber, etc., ( most of whom were/are significant players) or, as I pointed out, that Bradley coached Chivas USA, a strange place for a person who allegedly is biased against Latinos to work, to a playoff spot.
So yes Edwin, you are the guy who brought up race when you wrote:
“Get a life hater, I’m going to emulate bums like you and ask, is it because he plays in Mexico you dont like him? or that he is hispanic?”
Given that you clearly regard Bradley as something beneath your contempt,something you found on the bottom of your shoe,it’s very easy to lump you in with those people who say he doesn’t play Torres, Orozco or Castillo more because he has something against Mexicans. If you don’t believe that, if that is not your position, then you really need to be clearer about it the next time you post on the topic because it’s a jump that is easy for anyone who is on SBI regularly to make.
As for Torres turning down chances to play for the US, he was asked to go the 2009 Gold Cup and declined and he was asked to play in the Denmark game in 2009 and declined. If you research articles on Torres the consensus is he did not play in the Confederations Cup because either (a) they got on a run and didn’t want to change things or (b) he was exhausted from his club season. He then turned down the chance to play in the 2009 Gold Cup because he was exhausted and needed the break. He turned down the invitation to the 2009 Denmark game for “personal reasons”. From what I can tell Bradley has no problem with that.
Perhaps you have access to information that I do not but from where I sit and from what I can tell from these articles, it’s pretty clear Bradley is committed to working Torres into the team, even if it is not at the pace you would like. As for Rogers and Sascha, your despised duo, they aren’t direct competition for Torres. If Torres has direct competitors for minutes, it’s Bradley and Donovan. Say what you want about those two but, at last look, they were both doing very well for the respective European teams. Rodgers and Torres played together and looked very good in the El Salvador game.
If Torres isn’t on the World Cup roster it would be major surpise to just about anyone who watches the USMNT.
Sascha is clearly lower on the totem pole and, in my view, is being played in the latest games because he is being thought of as a potential injury alternate. My view is he is being called in to these camps to see if his confidence can’t be boosted a little so he can be a useful alternate. You won’t see him against the Netherlands, unless there are a lot of injuries.
Since you’ve seen so much of the Mexican league and the USMNT, it should come as no surprise to you that Pachuca and the USMNT play very different styles and that Torres and Bradley might have some difficulty fitting him into the currently preferred US style. Torres clearly would work best in a 4-3-3. Add to this that in 2009 the US played 24 games and most of them were competitive (WC qualifiers or Confed Cup) with no room to experiment. It’s a real shame Torres couldn’t make the Gold Cup or the Denmark game because that would have the time to really work out some formations for him.
It’s also a shame that the Mexican schedule (I believe he also pulled a hamstring recently?) prevented him from playing these latest games against Honduras or El Salvador.
So, if you want to talk about soccer or football I’ll be perfectly happy to discuss things with you but the racist and retard comments or the extremely defensive retorts tend to take the discussion to another arena. People usually react as explosively as you have when they are told something that is close to the truth. Hits a nerve so to speak.
And as for Bradley, you wrote:
” I can metion a ton of examples why Bob is an idiotic coach ”
Bradley has a squad that in World Cup terms has a very good goalkeeper and two very good players (Donovan and Dempsey). The rest of the players are hard working, earnest, tough journeyman types. They can go very far because they are very fit, can be disciplined, play hard and for each other and have just enough skill to take advantage of the opportunities they make. Whe they are going good, what makes this group special and gives them a chance is their unity of purpose and the fact that they seem to play for each other. For that you have to give credit to Bradley and if you don’t,well, you’re just being stubborn. You don’t get that without the coach.
The fact they did well in the Confederations cup and have a shot at doing well in the World Cup is a testament to the players but it is also a testament to Bradley. Any coach who can take what is basically a pretty average bunch to this point is doing something right.
Could he have done better? Probably, but neither you nor I really know what goes into all the decisions. You just think you do.
Hah! Solid work on the stream of consciousness
I half agree. I think Bradley does value Torres. But I also think Bradley hasn’t had the daring and smarts to use Torres.
As for think fixation on Torres being correlated with delusional hatred for Bob Bradley. Don’t you think that’s a bit overdrawn?
Torres is extremely promising. People who appreciate what he could bring to the side rightly wonder why a Sasha Kljestan — Kljestan! — got minutes in South Africa over Torres last summer. They similarly wonder why Torres wasn’t brought into more qualifiers.
Naturally, these people tend to view Bob Bradley as a mediocrity. But that’s not irrational or hateful.
I respect Bob Bradley. I think he’s probably the best American manager on offer at present. I certainly don’t hate on the man.
But I am not impressed by Bradley. I also think Bradley’s failure to better integrate Torres into the side is one of the big stories in US soccer.
How come nobody posts any news or updates on Johann Smith anymore?
He was a US U-20, and played as a forward with Altidore. In many respects was more skilled, and swifter than Jose. Played at Carlisle United on loan form Bolton Wanderers, then blew his knee out before the U-20s WC 2007, where Adu and Altidore had their coming out party.
Since, he played for Toronto FC, then got shipped out to, Croatia?
What’s up with Johann, will he ever suit up for the Red White and Blue again? Is he done – a bust? Has he switched allegiances? What’s the story Ives?
Torres is small. And that raises legitimate concerns.
But too small? I don’t buy it.
Torres can scrap when needed. Note the work he did against El Salvador and the second of the Costa Rica qualifiers. And we have a team full of quite decent athletes. We can afford a small player when we get someone who can pass.
As for Bob Bradley, we all know Bradley has a preference for players that can play a bigger, more physical game.
Is this a good thing? Not in my view.
We’ve had several notable games where early leads evaporated in second half collapses. These were games where the Clark’s and Bradley’s were kept in. When what we needed was one midfielder who can actually maintain possession and move the ball intelligently.
All this stuff about Torres gets at one of the big debates.
Some people think that at the top level we need big athletes. Period.
Others look at our team and see a group of players that is quite athletic but can’t really keep the ball (see the Horror Show At Azteca). These people see a player like Torres more or less unused — and cannot believe the waste.
James Joyce was Irish and I would have loved to have seen what sort of run on sentence he would have written about the “Hand of God” act by Henri because I assume he would have been on the side of Roy Keane who held that the furor over the handball was all a bunch of hot air since the real issue should have been where in the hell was my goalkeeper to shut of the cross or how about where was my centerback but what can you expect since the Irish FA has not been worth a damm since 2002 when they supported half wits like Mick McCarthy against me even though he was on the side of shoddy facilities and the players flying coach when the FA members were flying first class….but I digress.
Nice cruise missile strike from Torres. The guy can shoot. He’d have a lot more goals if he played more forward.
Looks like Aris supporters voted Adu man of the match for yesterday’s victory.
I wouldn’t be as convinced that Eddie and Freddy are on the trail back if I didn’t see improvement. It’s not the assists and goals, it’s the fashion in which they come, not to mention how the play during the game. Johnson’s assist came with good touch and ball movement with his back to goal, composure, and a sharp, albeit easy pass. That’s an improvement over the last couple years/seasons. Freddy, as shown in highlights, has shown a willingness to help defensively, be scrappy, and get stuck in the tackles. Not just that, but he’s not always looking for the amazing pass, although he’s fully capable of it still. His decision making on the ball is sharp, quick, and smart and his chemistry with his teammates is good. That’s a massive improvement over, well, ever!
“Michael Hoyos started and played 62 minutes in Estudiantes La Plata’s 3-2 loss vs. Independiente on Sunday. ”
Wow, the kid can play. USSF needs to get him on their private jet. Meet him in the tropics, spoil him with women and booze for a week, and convince him to play for the US, not Argentina.
Couldn’t be happier for Adu, EJ, and Torres.
I never actually thought about that. Good point. Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador, Costa Rica; all teams that are pretty docile physically.
So who was he supposed to play? Adu was getting no minutes was clearly out of form. Torres was hurt. Davies played poorly against Italy. Feilhaber doesn’t do well when he starts, like in the Italy game, and Bradley kept the idea of using him off the bench against Brazil when Clark was unavailable and Sacha was out of form and it almost paid off with a shot off the bar. I mean seriously, the lack of depth isn’t Bradley’s fault. It’s only this Fall-Winter that players have widened the depth that the USA has with guys like Torres, Holden, Rogers, and Feilhaber. In the Trinidad and Tobago game Pablo did fine. Pablo played in Costa Rica because he’s a veteran and is used to hostile enviroments, and while it didn’ work out, you can’t blame his thinking of playing him over Clark, Kljestan, and Feilhaber. Mastroeni had a better game against Honduras, and was replaced at the half to take advantage of what was a slowly tiring Catrachos team; a good tactical move by Bradley in my opinion.
Feilhaber started against Brazil and look what THAT got us. At least Sacha is a two way player that helps defensively.
He also said last week that he very much wants to play in a USA U20 camp.
And I will be sitting behind the goal at the Rhein-Neckar Arena cheering him on against Hoffenheim on Friday night. Keep up the fire MB!
And let’s not forget that Bradley’s play, specifically has needle threaded pass, lead to Man of the Match honors.
That is one hell of a run-on sentence to start the 2nd to last paragraph. You would make James Joyce proud.
Greg Eckhardt signed with Finnish club VPS.
Classy. Especially you use of the word “retard.”
Hoyos has said multiple times that he would play for Argentina over the U.S. (parents are from Argentina). Whether he gets a call-up from them is another story…
Torres has skillz but he’s too small- he looks like he’s about 120 lbs. i don’t think Bradley will let him get a game against any physical, athletic opposition. i think it’s no coincidence Bradley only plays him against El Salvador and Costa Rica.
I was seeing some of the comments(Typical MLS exaggeraters) about Adu in the other thread and his play. And its quite funny how nobody actually watched the game,and saw how dominant Adu was not only on the offensive side of the ball but on the defensive he stole the ball about 3 times from hustling his butt off back on defense. Think like Donovan on Cole. Adu is back, and its funny how his goal was similar to one of his in Benfica.
As for EJ. He looks confidet as well. I think he can hold the ball up. I would take him over Casey…. and most likely Ching. But we will see.
Fixation on Torres correlates strongly w/ delusional hate for BB. imo, for fans w/ eyes open, Bob likes Torres quite a lot, which is why he keeps calling the guy in and looking for ways to give him minutes.
I think Torres’ ticket to SA is pretty safe. He’s in the first tier of bench mids that Bob trusts, with Feilhaber and Holden.