The Houston Dynamo have signed Mexico national team forward Erick “Cubo” Torres as a Designated Player. The Dynamo signed Torres after an agreement was reached by Major League Soccer to secure his rights from Mexican club Chivas de Guadalajara. Per club and league policy, financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
As part of the transfer agreement, Torres will spend up to six months on loan with Chivas de Guadalajara for the 2015 Liga MX Torneo Clausura, which begins Jan. 9.
Torres scored 15 goals in 29 games in 2014, a Chivas USA club record for a single season. The 21-year-old joined Chivas USA on loan from Guadalajara in July 2013 and scored 22 goals in 44 appearances in one and a half seasons, the most goals by a Mexican-born player in MLS history.
"I’m extremely excited to be joining the Houston Dynamo. It’s one of the premier clubs in MLS and a place where I really wanted to sign,” Torres said. “I can’t wait to join my teammates in Houston and continue their success on the field. I'd like to thank Lino Dicuollo of MLS, my agents Richard Motzkin and Rodrigo Morales of Wasserman, and Dynamo president Chris Canetti in making this deal happen.”
The striker made his Mexico national team debut in September against Bolivia and scored his first goal for El Tri against Panama a month later. Torres featured for Mexico youth national teams at the U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels before breaking into the senior team this year. At 18, he was the youngest member of the squad at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup as Mexico finished in third place. Torres appeared in seven games and scored one goal.
“This is a monumental signing. We are thrilled to welcome Cubo to the Dynamo,” Dynamo president Chris Canetti said. “He strengthens our team and brings excitement to our fan base. He is a dynamic player that will be fun to watch and an excellent young man that will be a great ambassador in our community.”
The Guadalajara native made his Liga MX debut with Chivas in November 2010 at age 17. Torres scored six goals in 15 games in the 2011 Clausura season as Chivas reached the semifinals of the Liga MX playoffs. Torres scored 14 goals in 65 league games over three years with Guadalajara before he joined Chivas USA in MLS.
"We are thrilled that Erick 'Cubo' Torres will be joining the Houston Dynamo,” Dynamo vice president/general manager Matt Jordan said. “He is one of the most intelligent and dynamic young attackers in MLS and CONCACAF. The commitment our ownership group has shown with this signing is an important message to our fans and to the city of Houston. This is a historic moment in the history of our club to have the MLS all-time Mexican-born scoring leader wearing the Houston Dynamo jersey."
In November, Torres scored five goals in four appearances, including two goals in the final versus Venezuela, as the Mexico U-21s won the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games.
"We are delighted to sign a such a talented young player with the scope and potential to improve further,” Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle said. “For me, he is an outstanding player who does the toughest thing in soccer with ease, and that is to score goals. I look forward to working with him and helping to make him even better."
Torres opened each of his two seasons with Chivas USA in goal-scoring form. In 2013, he scored six goals in his first seven games with the Goats. Last season, Torres scored in each of the first four games of the season and had eight goals through ten games. Torres was a 2014 MLS-All Star and assisted on Bradley Wright-Phillips’ equalizing goal against Bayern Munich.
ERICK “CUBO” TORRES
Full Name: Erick Estéfano “Cubo” Torres Padilla
Height: 5’11” Weight: 168 lbs.
Date of Birth: January 19, 1993
Birthplace: Guadalajara, Mexico
Last Club: Chivas USA (on loan from C.D. Guadalajara)
How Acquired: Signed as a Designated Player on December 23, 2014