Christian Torres registered his first career MLS goal against the Portland Timbers
It a big moment for Los Angeles FC’s Christian Torres on Sunday night against the Portland Timbers. The 16-year-old academy product scored in second-half stoppage time to give LAFC a much-needed point on the road. This was the first career goal for Torres in Major League Soccer. He recently signed a Homegrown contract in July and is already making an impact for the club. The goal certainly helps LAFC’s chances of reaching the postseason as they occupy fourth place in the Western Conference table entering this week.
The Timbers had grabbed the lead early in the second half when Jeremey Ebobisse scored for the home side. LAFC would pressure the hosts in the final 15 minutes of the match as Torres entered in the 75th minute to replace Bradley Wright-Phillips. The big moment occurred when Eddie Segura played a nice pass to Kwando Opoku who produced a great turn that set up Torres to strike the ball into the back of the net.
Another young player shines
Torres is the latest MLS player under the age of 20 to have an impact on the outcome of a match this season. In recent weeks there have been numerous occasions where the young talent in the league has shined in crucial moments for their clubs. Caden Clark of the New York Red Bulls has been one of those players as the 17-year-old recently scored in both of his first two appearances in MLS. This is a great sign for the league as a whole as the younger players in MLS are capitalizing on the opportunities they have been given.
LAFC’s young talent Torres is playing at a very high level for a 16-year-old player and he is not the only academy product on the squad. He has been joined by another recent addition in Erik Dueñas who is also 16. In total, LAFC signed three of their academy players this season to Homegrown contracts. The other player was Tony Leone who is a defender and is also just 16. It is looking like a bright future ahead for LAFC.
LAFC get contributions without their stars
Without their star attacking players Diego Rossi and Brian Rodriguez in the lineup, LAFC had to turn to other offensive sources during their absence. Torres can count himself as one of those who stepped up to help lead the way. His goal allows LAFC to take four points from three matches in which they were without their star players. This should lead to more opportunities for Torres in Bob Bradley’s team as the regular season enters its latter stages. He proved he can step up and provide an impact as a substitute.