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Season Review: Roger Torres

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Editor’s note: At the end of the first two Philadelphia Union seasons, we posted a series of end of the season reviews of every Union player. Over the next several weeks, PSP continues with a review of the 2012 season.

“ROGER TORRES!!” is a chant that can be heard throughout PPL Park during many a Philadelphia Union game. The diminutive Colombian midfielder’s flair endeared him to the fans from day one. But injury, a coaching change and an all-around brutal year from the Union slowed, if not stalled, his development.

The 2012 Union were a team so starved for invention and creativity that one would think Torres would be a player that could make a difference. That never really happened for him. Instead, we saw the most disappointing season of his MLS career, one that left many thinking his time with the Union may be fading fast.

High Point

In the Union’s home opener against Colorado, Roger came on as a second half sub and was tasked with breathing some life into a listless game. With the team down 2-0 and pushing to get onto the scoreboard, Torres whipped a beautiful cross into the box and right onto the head of forward Lionard Pajoy. It proved to be the only goal for the home side in the game as they fell 2-1, but Roger’s assist was beautiful and a flash of excitement in the early days of the Union’s 2012 season.

Low Point

This is sort of two-pronged. While on reserve duty in April against New England’s second-teamers, Torres suffered a knee injury that laid him up for a good chunk of the season. He wouldn’t return to the field until the Union’s home victory against Toronto in July. Once back, he found himself rooted to the bench. When asked during a post-game press conference, Union Coach John Hackworth voiced some concerns about his “decision making,” and Torres struggled for playing time the rest of the season.


Torres possess excellent vision. He really sees the whole field, always looking for a player he can hit with a pass, be it five yards or 50 yards, and he can hit the final pass that will spring a forward in on goal. And he is fearless. This may prove to be an unpopular comparison, but he seems to have a little Allen Iverson in him. He is always will to go into traffic against the biggest bruisers in MLS.


Well… fearlessness can be a double-edged sword. While his willingness to run at players a foot taller and 50 pounds heavier is admirable, it can also be very wasteful when he loses the ball. He hasn’t really learned how to pick his battles yet. And for all his skills, defense still isn’t part of his arsenal.


The popular Colombian had what can only be described as a terrible year. With Michael Farfan gobbling up most of the playing time at the center attacking midfield position, Torres saw a grand total of 181 minutes. He made very little impact in the sub role. And Hackworth’s comments didn’t help much either. However, with the Freddy Adu Situation very much up in the air, Roger could see himself move up the depth chart. The Union are dealing with a number of issues in this offseason and Roger Torres is only one of them. Time will tell.

Stat chart legend:
POS: Position; GP: Games Played; GS: Games Started; MINS: Minutes; PA: Passes Attempted; PC: Passes Completed; P%: Passing Accuracy Percentage; G: Goals; A: Assists; SOG: Shots on Goal; SOG/S%: Percentage of Shots that are on Goal; G/SOG%: Percentage of Shots on Goal Converted; SC%: Scoring Percentage; G/90min: Goals per 90 minutes; Hm G: Home Goals; Rd G: Road Goals; FC: Fouls Committed; FS: Fouls Suffered; YC: Yellow Cards; RC: Red Cards


  1. James Korman says:

    The Torres situation was one of the most frustrating to witness this year as a Union fan. So often we lacked offensive creativity and yet Roger Torres barely saw the pitch. Weather the lingering injury slowed him or he sucked in practice or reserve games remains a mystery to me. We invested big bucks and then won’t play him even though he offers exactly what we lack?!? I personally would have given Roger a few 90 minute runs towards the very end of the campaign. I know he hasn’t been a ‘difference maker’ in his few chances. But the kid can play.

  2. I enjoyed watching Roger last year, and was also surprised that he saw so little of the field early this year. And then…I watched his showboating antics against Aston Villa and was stunned. After that, I agreed with Coach Hackworth. I understood the statement that his “decision making” was suspect based on his hot-dogging on the ball during that game. At the same time, as with so many others, he is so very young, and I hope that he is learning what the benching has meant. Hot-dogging with the ball is great when you are playing a pick-up game, not trying to save a season as much too much of this year was for the Union. If he can get past the immaturity, his ball skills are admirable, even if his stature is exactly what the Union has in excess- small. light and easily pushed off of the ball. Smart, quick and good with control can make up for some of that minimal size. He has the skills; let’s see if he can use them.

  3. The Black Hand says:

    Torres could be quality, if given the proper balance of confidence and discipline. It is a delicate ratio, when bringing about young talent. Torres has shown glimpses of brilliance, but too many poor decisions on the ball. If he can tip the scales toward the former, we will have a very good (and cheap) player that we run our offense through. It really lies on Hackworth, to be able to bring Roger Torres to form. I doubt Hackworth’s ability, more than Roger’s.

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