Up-and-coming striker Erick "Cubo" Torres has been witness to considerable club turmoil in his career to date.
First, he emerges as a very young star for Chivas de Guadalajara, before being tossed aside for several seasons, and seeing that proud club go on a major decline.
Then, he goes on loan to sister club Chivas USA, where his own career fortunes are revived, but at the end of his second season with that team, they go out of business entirely.
So what next? Will Cubo return to CD Guadalajara, or will he join a new club in MLS (or is there a third option)?
According to an article on MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday, the initial deadline of Dec. 15 has passed for Torres' club fate to be determined, but the parties are still talking it over:
"Over the past several weeks, MLS has been engaged in discussions with Erick Torres and Chivas de Guadalajara regarding the league's option to acquire his contract," the league said in a statement on Tuesday. "Although no agreement has been concluded, these discussions are continuing."
While it appears the big obstacle in all of this is either Cubo getting to play for the MLS team of his choice and/or getting the pieces in place (transfer fee, contract terms suitable to player and club, roster/DP spaces opened up), the prospect of a European move -- either soon or down the line -- probably comes into play here.
In my mind, Cubo has the tools to succeed in Europe, given the right club and a situation where he actually plays. I have no idea if any European clubs are interested in him for January, but I wouldn't be surprised if he gets attention in the summer, especially if he has a strong first half of 2015, wherever he's playing.
I'm assuming Chivas de Guadalajara would like a portion of his selling fee, if they have any leverage in this situation, and then the club that is prospectively buying him in MLS probably also wants a guaranteed percentage of a future transfer fee. That's pretty standard in MLS contracts, but with a player who should be drawing attention, getting the details right is going to be even more important.
Personally, I'd love to see Torres go to Europe in January, partly on a selfish level (it would be a bummer if he ended up at the LA Galaxy, though it makes sense, but it will be hard to see him with any MLS team, frankly), but also because it would be nice to see him rise to the next challenge in his career. Despite the turmoil, it cannot be denied: Cubo's career was truly resurrected with Chivas USA, and that fact should not be forgotten.
At any rate, it seems pretty likely that he'll end up with a new MLS team for 2015, though there are no guarantees, and with Chivas involved, you seriously never know what might happen. We'll keep you posted on any developments.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!