BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, March 1, 2010
While the central midfield position is widely considered to be the deepest position for the US, Jose Francisco Torres will be looking to use this week to impress head coach Bob Bradley and claim a coveted roster spot on the US World Cup team.

"I am happy to be back with the team," Torres told YA after Monday's practice. "It's been awhile since I have been here with the United States. It's good to be back with my teammates and seeing everyone training. I am ready to get back tomorrow and start in action with the team. "

Torres, 22, was the last member of the US team to arrive in Amsterdam ahead of this Wednesday's friendly against the Netherlands. Torres will be hoping to lead the Americans, who are ranked 14th in the most recent FIFA rankings, against the powerful Dutch who are currently ranked third. Torres said that he looks forward to the upcoming challenge.

"I think we have a great team with experienced players. I think Holland is a great team too," Torres discussed. "They have a lot of very good players that play here in Europe. I think it is going to be a great match. We have one more day to train so we have to get everything ready for [Wednesday's game]. Hopefully we win."

Torres currently plays for Pachuca of the Mexican Primera Division. So far this season through the first eight games, Pachuca are in third place in the Group Two table with a record of 4-3-1 and have accumulated 13 points.

While being a regular for his club, Torres notices that there is a clear difference in the playing styles of the Mexican league and the US National Team.

"I think it's a different style. In Mexico, the pace of the game is a little bit slower," the Longview, Texas native admitted. "Here with the national team, it's faster. You have to adapt real quick to get used to the game. I think it really is two different styles of playing."

As a dual citizen of the US and Mexico, Torres entered the US national team player pool with much fanfare in 2008 when he announced he would play for the US instead of the Mexican national team.

While playing time has been difficult to come by over the course of his first year and a half with the national team, Torres will hope to establish himself in the months ahead of the World Cup where the US will face England, Algeria, and Slovenia. That World Cup draw has left Torres optimistic for the team's chances of advancing to the second stage.

"It's a good draw. We start off with England and they are a good team. Then we have two other teams that we don't really know too much about but it's going to be a great group. In the game against England we have to do well so we can qualify [for the second stage]."

As a natural left footed player, Torres can play both left midfield and also central midfield. Torres feels he can play anywhere Bradley puts him, but he does prefer being in the center of the field where he can attack.

"Wherever Coach Bradley puts me I have to respond for him but mostly I like to play in the middle and [where I] attack more," Torres said of his positional preference.

Now with the US team in Europe, Torres has said that one day he hopes to also play professionally with a club on this side of the Atlantic among the elite leagues of the world. He also said that helping to lead the US to success this summer will be a key in helping him get noticed by European scouts.

"It's my dream to come here to Europe to play professionally," Torres concluded. "I just have to keep working and hopefully I get called up to the World cup and if I get a chance to play that will be where I have to show my talents."
Christina M
Wednesday March 3, 2010 5:33 pm
I also hope he can lock down a place on the team. It would be great to have him in South Africa for us.
i like tuesday
Wednesday March 3, 2010 1:33 pm
Not sure what Adu and Torres have to do with Bornstein and Eddie Johnson. Funny to see Adu as the future but EJ as the past even though their pro careers share a similar trajectory.

Adu is probably best playing in a withdrawn role behind a larger striker who can lead the line or at the top of a midfield diamond. He can play out wide but I don't think he's particularly effective there. Eddie Johnson is a striker who can lead the line and run the channels. Bornstein is a left back. Torres is a more attacking center midfielder, or possibly a left midfielder in a narrower midfield.

You can pretty safely assume the roster consists of 8 defenders, 8 midfielders and 4 attackers. That means Bradley will see certain players as competing with one another for certain spots within the teams structure, he's not just making a list of the top 23 American Players.
Wednesday March 3, 2010 2:37 am
Bobeto -

Part of the "high pressure" thing is due to the vast difference between the way Pachuca and the USMNT play. Teams play high pressure against the USMNT due to our propensity to cough the ball up in the midfield and the fact that our backs loft up 50/50 balls when pressured. Teams usually don't apply high pressure to Pachuca due to the fact that they are usually a pretty good passing team and control the ball well through the midfield.

Torres has something that most of the other players in our pool lack...the ability to control the tempo of the game. He is excellent in tight spaces and rarely puts his teammates in bad situations with the ball. I say this based on watching him play for Pachuca for the past 2+ years in addition to his performances with the MNT. I think he has the ability to develop into a Reyna-type player for us...although Torres offers a little more going forward. At 22, Jose still has a number of years left to suit up for the MNT and should be in his prime for WC '14.
Joe from El Paso
Tuesday March 2, 2010 11:18 pm
I agree with Calvin. Bradley needs to give more chances to guys like Torres and Adu. Quit beating a dead horse like Eddie Johnson and Jonathan Bornstein!!!
Tuesday March 2, 2010 2:07 pm
Yea bobeto, the few times he turns over possession it's due to high pressure he's not expecting. A lot of players have to just be more focused in internationals and be aware of the higher pressure, so I don't think it's a deal breaker. Also, while Torres tends to sit back and advance slowly, his effect on the field is an efficient crux for the attack. He switches play very crisply with accurate long balls from a central deep position. He can also make late runs towards the box and dribble in or shoot from distance, so I don't there's any reason why he shouldn't be able to make a positive impact with any pt he gets.
Tuesday March 2, 2010 10:43 am
Here's hoping Torres gets some p/t from Bradley!
Tuesday March 2, 2010 10:08 am
Just throwing this out but does anyone else see a possible problem with Mexican League players playing on a team that is made up of so many Euro based players. Torres mentions that Mexican Soccer is much slower and less high pressure. The few times we have seen him playing for the US, I think that is where he showed some weekness. You can't have a midfielder slowing the attack down as the rest of the squad rushes forward. I know South American and Euro players are able to play together (Brazil, Argentina) but the Mexican game is unique and all players on pitch must be on the same page.
Calvin Amador
Tuesday March 2, 2010 12:53 am
I don't see why Bradley hasn't really given Torres a chance? What is wrong with you coach Bradley??? Quit trying players that are garbage, NO GOOD (ex. Sasha Klischan and Brian Ching)...

PLEASE Torres is one of our best (Not the Best) He has excellent first touch, Excellent Dribbling, Fast, and very intelligent on the field. He's only 22 years old... This guy has all the potential to be one of our main guys... start giving him experience (Caps). Believe me he will grow and be a essential part of the USMNT Formation.
Robert Kiernan
Tuesday March 2, 2010 12:03 am
It's clear that if Donovan moves back up to striker from left midfield that Torres would be a natural to play on the left in his place... actually I'd love to see him on the left and Donovan on the right so we'd have two control midfielders able to control the play instead of just hitting it long and hoping to catch a break. would like to see them playing with Edu and Bradley in midfield... but I'm afraid we'll be seeing Beasley out there before Torres.
Monday March 1, 2010 11:21 pm
I hope he does well and locks down a place on the team. We need him in South Africa.

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