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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Sunday, April 1, 2012


He wasn't in the Union's starting lineup. He wasn't on the gameday roster, either.

So if he didn't play, let alone dress, for Saturday's match against visiting Vancouver, where was Roger Torres?

The 20-year-old midfielder was seen exiting a press-level suite with teammates Freddy Adu and Cristhian Hernandez. When asked why he didn't play, Torres said didn't have a concrete answer. Torres' name hadn't been included in either of the Union's injury reports this week.

"I'm not sure why," Torres told me.

Union boss Peter Nowak, in his press conference following the Union's scoreless draw with the Whitecaps, made it sound as though he benched Torres because he was unsatisfied with his youngster's work ethic.

"Roger, it’s competition. We have three offensive guys, with Jack (McInerney), Danny Mwanga and also Josue Martinez on the bench, and we need to have a cover as well with Amobi Okugo and also Chris Albright.

"...The competition is always good. We have three guys coming back from the Olympic team as well and it’s going to be two good weeks of training to make sure we’re going to get the fighting spirit and the performance we presented today. Overall, I think we’ve been preaching for a long time about the fighting spirit, about fighting for each ball and making tackles in the right time going forward."

Torres, whose rights were acquired by the Union this offseason, has played in only two of the club's four matches, logging only 72 minutes. A criticism of Torres in the past has been his stamina and his inability to give more than a few minutes off the bench.

It'll be a while before we see whether Torres will be on the pitch next for the Union (0-3-1), who enter a bye week.

(Photo: Associated Press)

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