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July 17, 2013
Torres scores in his debut as Chivas USA beats Toronto FC, halts 14-game winless streak

By Scott French
LA Soccer News Contributing Editor

Erick Torres played the hero in his debut for Chivas USA on Wednesday.
Erick Torres played the hero in his debut for Chivas USA on Wednesday.
photo courtesy Chivas USA
CARSON, Calif. -- Erick “Cubo” Torres scored in his debut Wednesday night, and Chivas USA watched its 14-game winless streak come to an end with a 1-0 triumph over visiting Toronto FC.

Torres scored in the 79th minute on a counterattack, taking a feed from Tristan Bowen, cutting inside to face up against three defenders, the firing a shot from outside the box that deflected off Reds defender Gale Agbossoumonde and ricocheted inside the right post.

Chivas (4-11-5), which had last won on March 30, was down to 10 men after Eric Avila was ejected after a studs-up tackle on Darel Russell in the 25th minute.

Former U.S. national team captain Carlos Bocanegra also debuted for Chivas, anchoring a fine defensive performance and contributing at both ends of the field.

Chivas would have equaled the club-record winless streak, set in the final 14 games last season and this year's opener, with a loss or a draw. Toronto FC (2-10-7), one of two clubs with fewer points than the Goats, has won just once in its last 17 games.

Torres missed when presented an open net after an hour, and he struggled to connect with his teammates before that, but he made up for any shortcomings with his strike for the winner.

Toronto had the better of the first half and created nearly a half-dozen chances without ever seriously challenging Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. The best opportunities had Russell chipping just over forward Jeremy Brockie at the far post in the 18th minute and Jonathan Osorio taking a feed in Chivas' box from Robert Earnshaw and nearly connecting with Brockie in the goalmouth in the 32nd.

Kennedy did well to stop Russell 1-on-1 in the 54th minute -- Russell then slid into Kennedy's knee, and Marky Delgado cleared Brockie's rebound before referee Sorin Stoica whistled Russell for the foul. Kennedy also pushed aside an Osorio shot, from the right side of the Chivas box, in the 76th minute.

Bocanegra made an immediate impression, playing with an assurance that Chivas' backline has missed this season. His distribution was good, defending solid -- he was on Brockie's heels on TFC's 32nd-minute chance, and he did well to track, then leap and head away a free kick into the Goats' box just before halftime.

Bocanegra's header from a free kick at the start of the second half skidded past the right post, and he nodded a corner kick over the crossbar in the 60th minute.
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