Coming into this MLS season, no one knew what we were going to see out of Cubo Torres. Were we going to see a player who was starting to live up to some of his lofty hype as the "Next Chicharito"? Or a player who had scored 2 league goals in 2 calendar years?
Coming off a great 2014 season where he scored 15 goals for the league’s worst team, Cubo was in demand. He was 21 yrs and had just earned his first 3 senior caps with El Tri. However, he was searching for a club as Chivas USA was so badly mismanaged that the league bought them from Vergara and ceased operations. Houston Dynamo paid Chivas between $5-7mil for his rights but only after agreeing to loan him to the relegation threatened Chivas until the summer of 2015.
That loan move would kickoff a difficult 2 years for Cubo. He played sparingly while in Guadalajara. He only saw 91 LigaMX minutes but contributed 2 goals. Those 2 goals would be his last league goals until March 2017. He came back to the Dynamo in July 2015 to a manager that did not know how to use him. Arguably, the manager did not know how to use many of his players and he was fired last season (he was also recently fired again over in England). The Dynamo tried loaning Cubo to Cruz Azul last fall to regain some confidence but it was not meant to be. He injured his knee shortly after arriving and Cruz Azul did not exercise their buy option. That buy option was worth less than half of what the Dynamo had paid for Cubo in December 2014. That should give you an idea on what the club thought of him at the time.
Which brings us back to this season. Why has Cubo been able to turn it around? Many point to his new (old) coach, Wilmer Cabrera. He was the one who managed Cubo during his breakout 15 goal season in 2014. Some refer to him as the "Cubo Whisperer" and it's hard to argue against the results. Torres has been on a tear this season. The Guadalajara native already has 10 goals through 13 games, 2nd in MLS. He has been averaging an assist or goal every 85 minutes this season. Under Cabrera, Cubo now has 25 goals in 42 MLS games. If I had that type of scoring record under a manager, I would be hugging him too.
Now that his club career is back on track, when can we expect Cubo in action for El Tri? I would guess he will be on the Gold Cup roster this summer. Mexico will be sending a younger squad while the “A” team plays in the Confederations Cup in Russia. This could be Cubo’s chance to crack Osorio’s forward contingent. There are only so many times left for Osorio to call up an aging Peralta. I can see Cubo taking over his spot. If for no other reason than to see this celebration more often.
Can Cubo play his way back into the National team picture? Let us know in the comments!