JOSE FRANCISCO TORRES
Tigres UANL (Primera Division)
#18 | Midfielder
October 29, 1987 (Age: 29)
5' 5", 135 lbs (1.65 m, 61 kg)
The native Texan has become one of a growing number of Mexican-American players who are forging their professional careers south of the border.
Torres, the son of a Mexican father and an American mother, was discovered back in 2006 by officials of Mexican club Pachuca while he was still in high school. Torres would spend the next two years with the club's youth team before finally making his debut with the senior team in 2008.
Since being called up, Torres has become a mainstay in Pachuca's central midfield and was a key element in helping Pachuca earn a berth in the 2009 Copa Libertadores.
Despite his success in Mexico with Pachuca, Torres has publicly stated that his long-term goal is to play for a European club. However, Torres has remained a fixture with a Pachuca squad that has seen significant turnover over the past few seasons as the club tries to recapture its success of several seasons ago.
Torres would eventually depart Pachuca, but not to Europe. Instead, he moved to Liga MX high-fliers Tigres UANL.
Torres' decision to ultimately join the United States National Team has been well chronicled and was the subject of some controversy.
Both federations had been tracking his progress since he was in Pachuca's youth system but it was the U.S. who had made the initial overtures to the player.
U.S. Under-23 coach Peter Nowak offered Torres an invitation to represent the Stars and Stripes at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Torres was forced to decline due to playing conflicts with Pachuca.
Thinking that he had maybe lost his opportunity to play with the U.S., Torres was pleasantly surprised to get the call from national team coach Bob Bradley for an October 2008 match against Cuba. This coincided with former Mexican coach Sven-Goran Eriksson's omission of Torres from a September 2008 Mexican friendly against Chile.
Torres started several days later in a match against Trinidad & Tobago and officially announce his intentions to play for the U.S.
Torres was named to the US World Cup squad and started against Slovenia. He was substituted at halftime and did not make another appearance in the tournament.
The Mexican-American's fortunes may have improved with the dawn of the Jurgen Klinsmann era. Torres has featured heavily in the early stages of Klinsmann's reign.