The 2015 season may not have gone the way the Houston Dynamo and Erick “Cubo” Torres hoped.
But the Dynamo said rumors stemming from a Sports Illustrated report that they were shopping the Mexican international after just a half a season with the club have been overstated.
“There’s a difference between our players being shopped and receiving an inquiry about a player,” Dynamo president Chris Canetti said in the team’s postseason press conference Wednesday. “The rumor that is out there mis-categorized the situation. I’ll simply say it that way. I think that’s a fair statement.”
General manager Matt Jordan reiterated, saying they receive calls “all the time” about players, while they inquire about other team’s players as well.
“We have quality players on our roster, so it’s very normal that we get called about our players all the time,” Jordan said.
Torres will be looking to put a tough 2015 behind him. He failed to earn consistent playing time on loan at Chivas Guadalajara as well as at the Dynamo, where he finished without a goal over the final half of the 2015 MLS regular season. Off the field, Torres also contested a sexual assault allegation in Mexico for which he was ultimately cleared by investigators.
The team said the forward is part of their plans moving forward and is currently working with a young group of players that is still training at the club’s facility.
“We feel we have a core of people that any team is built around. What’s important … is our strength is to be a group and be unified,” Jordan said. “Our strength is as a group. No one’s bigger than the team. It’s going to be a group effort.”
According to club officials, contract talks with fellow forward, and club leading scorer Will Bruin have been positive. If he returns Torres will not have to carry the scoring load alone.
The mission this offseason, according to the Dynamo, is returning Torres to the form that saw him score 15 goals for Chivas USA in 2014.
“We have not changed our opinion of Erick Torres. Erick Torres has shown he’s a good player within MLS,” Coyle said. “He’s young player, and of course there was trials and tribulations this year. Of course Erick came in and he showed bits and pieces. I always said the best of Erick Torres will be moving into next year.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.