Roger Torres logged 27 minutes for the Union in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids at PPL Park.
He looks forward to adding to that total real soon.
It had been a tough road for the dynamic Union midfielder while recuperating from a nagging sprained right ankle.
Three days earlier, Torres entered the match against Real Salt Lake in the 57th minute and was quite effective. He seemed to have the same spark against the Rapids, which is great news for the Union.
Before the RSL match, Torres hadn’t played in a league match since a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on July 5. Torres then hurt his ankle against Celtic F.C. and wound up missing four league matches and six matches overall.
While his ankle was taped in ice -- a normal procedure -- he gave a glimpse of the fiery passion that's evident every time he steps foot on the pitch.
“It’s still hurting a little bit,” the 19-year-old Torres said. “I have been so eager to play and return to the field. I wanted to recover faster and play. I want to help the team. The support from the fans has been great and I’m excited about helping in situations in the games.”
On March 8, the Union announced Torres’ signing on loan from América de Cali of the Colombian First Division. He debuted with América de Cali last year, starting all 15 games in which he played. In 2008, Torres played his first professional game with Colombian First-Division-B club Alianza Petrolera.
Once he signed with the Union, there was a transition period as can be expected.
“I think Roger has adapted really, really well,” said midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi. “In MLS, the games may be a bit more physical than he’s used to. With his speed and skills, he fit right in. It was a shame to see him hurt his ankle, but it’s great to see him back healthy. It’s hard to play through injuries. I think I will be excited, and the guys here will be excited to see him develop."
Added midfielder Justin Mapp: “Roger is quick and he’s smooth out there. His skills are evident and he’s a young player with so much talent. He’s going to get better and better with experience. You can see his talent every time he steps on the field.”
Torres’ ankle is healthy and so is his appetite for the game. The combination means it's likely he'll continue to improve in his first season with Philadelphia.
“I kept working through it,” Torres said. “I’m very happy to be back to help these guys on the team.”