JOHN KRETLOW - Monday, July 19, 2010
After making the 23-man roster for the US National Team in South Africa and appearing for a half in the US' tie to Slovenia, Jose Francisco Torres has come a long way and is still looking to the future.
Just days after returning from South Africa, Torres arrived at Pachuca's preseason camp in Mexico, before it was even mandatory for the team's World Cup players to report.
Torres even made the trip to Houston, Texas to play in this year's Superliga competition, wasting no time to help his club team in international competition.
The Longview, Texas native was one of the many central midfielders that coach Bob Bradley paired with his son Michael at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and looked back on his time in South Africa as a learning experience.
"It was great," Torres recently told YA. "It was my first World Cup. It was a great experience playing against great teams in the world.
"I got one game in, 45 minutes," said of the match versus Slovenia. "I thought it was a difficult game, a different rhythm. It was faster. Whatever I learned over there, I'll try to bring it over here."
In the offseason, the 22 year old learned that he will be joined by one of his US teammates after Pachuca signed American Herculez Gomez.
Gomez was tied for the FMF league lead in scoring with ten goals, many from off the bench. He was the first American player to lead a foreign league in goals scored.
Now Torres has welcomed the Las Vegas-raised striker with open arms and is looking forward to playing this season with Gomez.
"It feels good, you know. We know each other very well," Torres said of Gomez. "He moves very well. He's on my team now, and I know where he wants the ball.
"When he's on the run, I have to give it to him. He's a great goal scorer and he's a great teammate," continued Torres.
The center midfielder is a product of the Pachuca youth system and was offered a spot in the club's academy after being spotted while playing for his high school in Longview, Texas
Torres had to work hard in order to make his way to be a consistent starter for the Tuzos and still carries those same elements with him each day to training.
"You know it's tough, coming from the bottom, and trying to work yourself to the top," added Torres.
"There are players that are older than you and you have to respect that," he concluded. "I would take my chances, and go in as a sub, and do my best and try to keep my spot."
Torres will now try and lead Pachuca to another successful season in the Mexican Primera Division and in the FIFA Club World Championship this December.