With the looming departure of Union midfielder Roger Torres, it appears that the end of an era is upon Philadelphia.
The 22 year-old Colombian midfielder was sent to Philadelphia during the 2010 MLS preseason, just before the Union’s inaugural season. After impressing his new club he was loaned from Colombian club, America. In January of 2012 Torres’ transfer was made permanent.
Torres saw his first assist for the new expansion side on April 10, 2010, with a fourth minute cross into the box, which former Union star Sebastian Le Toux deposited into the back of the net. Nearly one year later on April 9, 2011, Torres recorded his first Union goal, scoring just one minute after coming on as substitute.
After playing just three games and 68 minutes last season, the fan favorite confirmed his contract is up. At the official end of the 2013 season he will become a free agent. Although he has the option to resign on with Philadelphia, it seems unlikely.
Torres tweeted this earlier this month, showing that he doesn’t plan on returning to Philadelphia.
See you philly thanks for everything ����
— Roger Torres (@Rogertorres_20) November 1, 2013
There are a few reasons why Roger could stay in Philadelphia though. First, he loves the city and the city loves him. Possibly the biggest reason would return would be his lack of serious options. After a lackluster season, Torres likely doesn’t have a high value to other clubs. Resigning with Philadelphia would provide him with a chance to prove himself to other clubs again. Still, his tweet makes it seem extremely unlikely that he will return.
The factors pushing Torres away from Philadelphia are perhaps much greater than those which would keep him here. Torres has played just 68 total minutes, certainly the Colombian international would like more playing time. Torres would also be facing a major pay cut with the Union, as they most likely won’t be willing to pay him a salary of upwards of $122,000 to sit on the bench. Many Latin American clubs have also showed interest in the young talent, including his former club, America de Cali.
Union manager Jack Hackworth said earlier in the month, on Torres’s chances of returning.
“At the moment, we’re not obligated to him and he’s not obligated to us in any contractual way” “That gives him a ton of flexibility to go out and search the marketplace and see if he can find something he thinks is better.”
This quote pretty much sums it up, if he can find a better option the club and fans will be happy for him. If not, Union fans will be glad to welcome back the only remaining member of the 2010 inaugural team.