Erick Torres is enjoying a fantastic start to the 2014 MLS season. Scoring six times in seven games, Cubo has been the picture of consistency, and his strong play over parts of two seasons now for Chivas USA demonstrates his quality in the league as an elite striker.
Don't change, Cubo. Whatever you're doing, whether it's making those runs into the box, taking speculative shots that still make it in the net, or yes, even coolly converting penalties, just keep doing all of those things. You are clearly the man when it comes to scoring.
But who else has scored for Chivas this season? Just two players, and both on the first day of the season. One of those players, Thomas McNamara, is out for the season with a torn ACL. The other, Bobby Burling, scored just his second career goal with his tally this season. So it's clear Burling shouldn't be counted on to score anymore this season. But he's a center back -- scoring isn't his main job anyway.
That leaves the rest of the team's attackers, and none of the healthy players have stepped up yet to assist Cubo in the scoring load. For all the arguments that Chivas USA have upgraded their attack this season (and they have) the results from actual, tangible goals remains unfulfilled. And that is quickly becoming an issue.
From out-and-out strikers, the big question is Luke Moore. He showed some good skills in his sub stint last week under tough circumstances, with the team down a man and trailing, and he forced a save from Stefan Frei in the final minutes. That certainly makes me optimistic, as does his mini scoring run with the reserves. But he was supposed to help Torres carry the scoring burden, and he's hanging out on the sideline, mostly, at this point.
On set pieces, Mauro Rosales and Adolfo Bautista have successful track records, but no goals in league play yet. They will come, but it would be nice to see a few go in.
Leandro Barrera's been playing very well on the left wing, and his priors didn't indicate much of a scoring touch. Still, given his success so far, he should be able to chip in a few goals this year.
Beyond that, there's plenty of room for other guys, from a more defense-minded Carlos Alvarez, Marky Delgado, bench guys like Matthew Fondy and Kristopher Tyrpak, maybe (hopefully?) newcomers Martin Rivero, Matt Dunn, or even the Homegrown for the future, Caleb Calvert.
The fact is, if any of these players, especially those not starting, can start to chip in goals, they will definitely see an increase in playing time. Wilmer Cabrera has been working to paper over the cracks with his defense and d-mids, but if somebody starts banging in goals, he'll see action, no question.
So, let's see Cubo continue to do his thing, but here's hoping he'll get some help, and soon.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!