Erick "Cubo" Torres was a breath of fresh air over the weekend for his country.
Before the introduction of Cubo into the match, Mexico was struggling against an aggressive and strong Panama squad on Sunday afternoon.
El Tri countered this style of play by employing the same approach — disruptive and combative soccer that lead to a very scrappy game on the pitch. There seemed to be more fouls than passes and more fights than shots on net. From a Mexico fan perspective, it was an ugly game to watch.
With the game almost solidified at 0-0, Cubo was brought in for Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez in the 81st minute. Cubo only had nine minutes on the pitch but was able to score when it appeared that the game was all but over. The stadium in Queretaro, Mexico erupted with El Tri fans cheering and yelling while Cubo did his trademark "robot" celebration.
Here's a clip of the momentous goal:
With the lack of goals that Mexico has recently seen from its forwards, Cubo's drive and attitude up top was, as mentioned, a breath of fresh air. It was a bright spot in a field filled with frustration and negativity. Cubo was the savior for Mexico yesterday — a role he's had for Chivas USA since joining the team last year.
However, this doesn't necessarily mean that the striker will be immediately starting for Mexico. Javier Hernandez, Oribe Peralta, Giovani dos Santos, and Raul Jimenez all appear to be ahead of him in the pecking order for Mexico's starting two up top. Then again, El Tri will need to utilize a massive amount of players next summer due to their two tournaments (Copa America and the Gold Cup) and Cubo will likely be a shoe-in for Miguel "Piojo" Herrera's final rosters.
Cubo has already taken one step forward for El Tri this month. The striker will surely be given more opportunities in the future and it will be interesting to see the progress he will make. I can only assume it will be massive during the next few years and it would be no surprise if he were to join Mexico in the 2018 World Cup.
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