Ok, so people aren't really crying in the streets of Mexico that they've lost Torres to the U.S., but they don't seem happy about it, either. Here's an article I translated from espn.deportes
- it's a little vague on sources and light on quotes, but one definitely gets the sense that some people feel Eriksson really dropped the ball on this one.
By contrast, then, Bradley and Gulati would seem to get credit for doing the opposite.
Anyone who has followed closely the career trajectory of Jose Francisco Torres, a left-sided winger, can assure that he’s a player who has already demonstrated his quality with Pachuca.
It turns out that this promising player that could have been a part of Mexico's future has now declined the shirt of the national team that Sven Goran Eriksson leads, because simply, he grew tired of waiting and has decided to defend the colors of the Uunited Sttes.
Rejected going to Beijing with the U.S.
Francisco was born in Longview, Texas, and will turn 21 on the 29th of October. He is the son of a Mexican and an American.
We know that in the last few months he was waiting for a call from El Tri. He counted on being part of the team that confronted Chile (and lost 1-0) and was made up of a team based on younger players.
Since he was young he dreamed of playing with Mexico. He always believed he could do it. That’s why five years ago he got permission from his parents to come to Pachuca and play for the Tuzos (Gophers).
It’s also been only three months since Torres rejected a call from the U.S. to play for their national team when he was invited to the Olympic Games, even though he had not participated in the qualifying games.
Sources close to the situation reveal that Jesus Martinez, the president of Pachuca, convinced him not to go to Beijing, because he thought Javier Aguirre would be the new national team coach and would soon include Torres in his plans.
The coach of Pachuca, Enrique Meza, also tried to influence his decision, and he succeeded for a while. But the day that Torres didn’t see his name on the list of players for Chile, he decided to accept a second call from the U.S.
He said, “No thanks”
Many people, everyone, recognizes the qualities of Torres, except for el Tri. It was finally this week that the coaching staff convinced Eriksson that Torres should be picked, despite his small size.
On Thursday night, Torres was contacted by a member of the coaching staff of the national team (perhaps Guillermo Canto?) to answer if he would accept an an invitation from Eriksson, but his response, in perfect Spanish, was, “No, thanks”.
Mexico has lost the opportunity to count on a great player, young, versatile, left-footed, who has a lot of potential ahead of him.
Something similar happened in the case of Michael Orozco, a Mexican defender born in Orange, California, who is 22 and plays with San Luis. If El Tri didn’t give him a chance with their younger national teams, they probably weren’t going to do so on the older squad. That’s why for some time he has played for the U.S. and played for them in the Olympic Games.
Edgar Castillo, who plays for Santos, was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico and will turn 22 this October. He also claims double nationality, but he had the fortune to be called in for youth teams and now is an important player on the senior squad.
Debut in qualifying
In Pachuca, Torres said that he made his decision aware of what he was doing and that it is what he wants to do.
His family supports him in everything. Torres spoke with both the national team coach of the U.S. (Bradley) and directors of their soccer federation (Gulati, I’ll wager).
“The truth is that I had to take advantage of this second opportunity. I’m very happy to represent the country of my birth, but I will always have great affection for mexico, “ said Torres, who hopes to have a place in the starting roster of the team that plays this upcoming week.
His debut is very close and will probably come in a qualifying match for the World Cup 2010. On the 11th of October, the U.S. will play Canada, and on the 15th, they will face Trinidad and Tobago.