Most of Erick Torres’s 2014 scores have been penalty kicks or poacher’s goals, but having scored nine times coming into tonight’s game, the Chivas USA attacker had still put himself among the league’s leading scorers. Yet if you were to write the Mexican attacker’s scouting report based on this season alone, you’d laud his movement and instincts but have trouble describing him as more than a “fox in the box.”
Only 21 years old, Torres is so much more. Unfortunately for a 10-man Real Salt Lake, they saw first hand what the former Chivas Guadalajara striker can do. Taking a long cross from the left flank just past the hour-mark, Torres’s one-timed volley from just inside the penalty area put RSL behind on two accounts. Not only were they down a man (thanks to Luke Mulholland’s early red card), but Torres’ wonder strike had the Western Conference champions down a goal.
But to call it merely a one-timed volley throws the score into a pile of goals that bear little resemblance to Torres’s strike. With the distance, the height on the cross, this ball required precise technical execution. He had to position himself so perfectly. Even an inch’s error would have probably seen the shot shanked.
And to not only get the ball on goal but right under the ball? Sometimes, you just have to aim and hope, but thanks to all the other quality Torres brought to the strike, that hope came good. Sending a rocket into the top of Jeff Attinella’s net, Torres added another contender to the goal of the year chase.
It’s a goal for which words just won’t do, so check it out, above. In you’re ever wondering if there’s a reason to watch Chivas USA games, remember this Torres goal.
The game in 100 words (or less): Real Salt Lake stays alive in the hunt for a playoff berth in the Western Conference with a crucial 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. After falling behind early, RSL scored twice before halftime and held onto the lead for the rest of the match, moving within three points of the final playoff spot in the West. Real Salt Lake has three matches remaining, including a massive clash against the Portland Timbers, which will pretty much decide their season. For Colorado, it’s another year without playoff soccer.
[ MORE: FC Dallas clinches playoff berth ]
Three moments that mattered
16′ — Doyle heads Colorado into the lead — The former Premier League man gave the home side an early lead, thanks to a powerful header from quite a bit out. Sean St. Ledger played in a cross, where Doyle snapped a header into the top corner past Nick Rimando.
33′ — Joao Plata bends in the free kick — Trailing 1-0, Joao Plata drew RSL level with a brilliant free kick. Plata’s shot dipped over the wall and under the crossbar, as Clint Irwin stood helpless in goal for Colorado.
43′ — Mulholland fires home a volley to put RSL ahead — Luke Mulholland scored his first goal of the season, and it was a beauty. A corner kick popped out to the midfielder at the top of the box, as he rifled a shot off the bounce and into the side netting.
Man of the match: Luke Mulholland
Goalscorers: Doyle (16′), Plata (33′), Mulholland (43′)
Arsenal put on a superb performance against Manchester United today, flying out to a three-goal lead in the opening 20 minutes of the match.
[ RECAP: Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United ]
United was stunned by the fast-paced, free-flowing Arsenal attack, unable to recover from the Gunners’ early dominance.
All of this came on the heels of a disappointing loss to Olympiacos in the Champions League, after which many questioned manager Arsene Wenger and his side.
[ MORE: Three things we learned from Arsenal’s win vs. Manchester United ]
Following the big 3-0 win at the Emirates, Wenger praised his team’s spirit, saying there were outstanding performances throughout the side.
You go from Petr Cech up to Theo Walcott, and we had only outstanding performances. Sometimes we have that magic side in our game.
[Against Olympiacos] maybe we lacked a little bit of urgency and discipline, and that’s why we lost the game. But let’s not forget, last Saturday we won 5-2 at Leicester. Today we beat Man United 3-0.
[The players] have shown that we have an outstanding spirit in the squad. To respond the way we did after what happened to us, you need to have an exceptional spirit.
The Gunners’ performance today immediately silenced all the critics, as Wenger’s side put out on a display that many have been waiting for all season. The combination play of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott was brilliant, as Santi Cazorla continued to impress in the center of the midfield.
Wenger’s teams have not always been known to show strong heart and resiliency, but that’s exactly what they showed today against a Manchester United side that was in great form. Now sitting second on the table, Arsenal continues to climb up the Premier League.