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Season review: Roger Torres

Editor’s note: PSP is running season reviews for each Philadelphia Union player. You can read all the reviews here.

Roger Torrez, whiz kid, everybody’s favorite.

OK, so maybe not, but the kid can play, and he sure is fun to watch when he’s on his game. The 19-year-old Colombian showed up in Chester, threw around some sick passes, dribbled in and out and back into all sorts of trouble, and generally caused all sorts of on-field mischief. He was a regular starter for a patch early in the season, then got hurt and struggled to get back into the starting lineup.

Torres slotted in at one of the two attacking midfielder positions in the Union’s 4-2-2-2 and generally pushed inward toward the field’s center, where he seems to feel most at home. He generally played better as a starter than a sub, often struggling to find the game as a late game replacement.

2010 statistics

21 games (10 starts), 958 minutes, 6 assists, 19 shots (11 on goal), 2 offsides, 16 fouls caused, 11 fouls suffered, 4 yellow cards

High point

His sick pass to Sebastien Le Toux against Houston. The lofted pass was a thing of beauty, overshadowed only by Le Toux’s beautiful goal.

Low point

Getting benched for much of the summer.


Torres has good ball skills and excellent passing vision. He has a creative daring to his play that few Union players have. He finds ways to send passes to attackers in good scoring position. And he is fun to watch and has a great near-mullet.


Torres doesn’t play much defense, and he has a habit of dribbling into trouble without a way out. Sometimes he tries the same trick too many times and finds he can’t replicate the first success. That’s lack of experience for you. He also didn’t show the fitness to go the full 90 once this year, and his lack of size — he’s just 5-5 — naturally works against him. But he’s young and has plenty of time and talent.


The departures of Fred and Shea Salinas clear out some of the space ahead of him at the two attacking midfield positions, provided the Union deploy the 4-2-2-2 again next season. If they don’t, he’s the only real center attacking midfielder on the roster. The team still has a glut of holding midfielders, but they’re thin at attacking midfield, so expect some acquisitions there. Whether those players are brought in for depth or to start is something we’ll just have to wait and see.

Torres could start next season. He definitely has the talent to, but he has some gaps in his game, most notably a lack of experience and apparently stamina. If he starts playing defense, shows he can go a full 90, and learns from his mistakes, he could be the playmaker the Union lacked this season, the guy who links to the forwards in the attacking third and gets them the ball in position to score. He can also be a lot of fun to watch.

One Comment

  1. it seems like maturity with him. he NEEDS to run more. he NEEDS to track back harder. he NEEDS to play quicker and get the ball off his foot sooner. he NEEDS to get stronger.

    i hope they dont quit on him because once it clicks into place for roger, it should be great to watch.

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