The Union scored 3 goals on Sunday, but the biggest cheers might have been reserved for Roger Torres.
The fan-favorite midfielder made his return to action after nearly 3 months on the sidelines. The Colombian playmaker suffered a partially torn MCL, menisectomy and bone bruise in the Union’s April reserve league match against New England.
“It was frustrating, because I was out for a long time,” said Torres after Sunday’s 3-0 win. “That’s how God wanted it, but he gave me the chance to get back onto the pitch. It’s a huge satisfaction being able to return, and the support that I get from the fans gives me the confidence and peace of mind I need. I don’t think I’m quite at 100% yet, but, I’m going to keep working in order to get back to full fitness.”
Torres was set to come on in the late stages of last month’s win over Sporting Kansas City, but the final whistle blew before the substitution was made.
He finally made his official return in the 83rd minute of Sunday’s match.
“That was important,” said interim head coach John Hackworth of Torres’ minutes. “Roger, he’s come back, he’s been in training, but we’ve played so many games, that it hasn’t been great for Roger because he’s been in the 18 but he hasn’t been training as much. (For example), we come back and have a regeneration day, and it’s a shorter session for him. My point is, Roger just needed to get in some conditioning, to get game fitness, and the best way to do that is to play. So it was really good to get him back in the game and we’ll just continue to work with him and make sure he’s ready when called upon.”
“Roger’s been working extremely hard, so I was happy to see him get out there,” said Union right back Sheanon Williams. “Obviously he’s going to be a little rusty, it’s been a couple of months. But it will come back to him real quick. He’s been working hard in practice, doing everything he needs to do to get back. So I’m happy that the coaching staff gave him the opportunity to get his feet wet.”
In January, the Union exercised the option to retain Torres’ services, completing a transfer from América de Cali. Torres had been on loan from the Colombian side for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
“I’ve been waiting for the chance (to return) for a very long time, now I thank God, the fans, for the support,” explained Torres. “I can’t begin to explain how happy I am right now; this gives me confidence to keep working hard. Now, I’m looking forward to what comes next, so that I can give my all to this team.”