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."