MLS purchases Cubo Torres, loans him to Chivas, Mexican club says
The furious Liga MX offseason means a flurry of moves in a short period and a number of players changing addresses just days after Club America captured its record 12th title by defeating Tigres UANL in the Apertura final.
Among them are some moves of note to MLS and U.S. Soccer fans:
Erick "Cubo" Torres is headed back to Chivas de Guadalajara, but only for six months. The rising Mexican national team forward starred for Chivas USA on loan from Guadalajara last season, and MLS has been intent on keeping him, but his buyout option was at $7.5 million. Guadalajara announced that MLS did indeed pick up the option and loaned him back, and Goal.com's Ives Galarcep reports that the return to Chivas could be a compromise between the Mexican club and MLS.
Chivas, once a perennial powerhouse in Mexico, is fighting relegation and needs to have a fruitful Clausura in order to remain in the top flight. In return for having him play a little longer in Mexico, the cost to purchase Torres, 21, could drop for MLS. Goal.com reports that Houston is the front-runner for his services next summer, with Seattle, LA and Chicago passing on the opportunity to add the 15-goal scorer from the 2014 season.
Torres could be an ideal fit for Houston, which lacked a finishing punch up top and boasts a heavy Mexican-American population.
Elsewhere, Herculez Gomez is returning to Puebla, where he won the league's Golden Boot in the 2010 Clausura, ultimately propelling him to the U.S. World Cup team. Gomez was with Apertura runner-up Tigres, where he scored one goal in league play and two in Copa MX action. Since playing at Puebla the first time, Gomez, now 32, has seen his career take him to Pachuca, Estudiantes Tecos, Santos Laguna and Club Tijuana.
Omar Salgado is moving to Tigres. The Vancouver Whitecaps and New York City FC teamed for a unique trade-and-transfer for the 21-year-old U.S. international forward, and both will get a piece of the transfer fee. Salgado, a former No. 1 overall MLS SuperDraft pick, never settled in Vancouver amid injuries and fighting for playing time. He began his career in the Chivas de Guadalajara youth system, and the El Paso, Texas, native returns to Mexico, where he'll eye a greater role with the Olympics on the horizon.