Say hello to Mr. USA

Jose Francisco Torres ( 

                                                             Photo by

With Christmas just a few hours away, and way too much negativity simmering following Neven Subotic's decision to play for Serbia, I felt it was time to remind everybody about a player who did choose the U.S. national team.

Jose Francisco Torres just turned 21 in October, starts regularly for Mexican power Pachuca, and is coming off a solid showing at the FIFA Club World Cup. He also happens to have chosen the United States over Mexico, which should make his decision to don the American colors doubly satisfying to American fans. A central midfielder with impressive skill and plenty of room to grow, Torres has a bright future and that future will be as part of the U.S. national team.

So take a break from all the hatred aimed at Subotic and remember this player, this American-born and American-bred player. It is certainly more in line with the Christmas spirit to appreciate what you have rather than regret what you don't.

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53 Responses to Say hello to Mr. USA

  1. Mighty says:

    Good one Ives…. at least you tried!!!

  2. inkedAG says:

    Cheers Ives!

    Have a Happy Holiday!

  3. Barksdale says:

    Thank you, Ives. You make a great point. Merry Christmas.

  4. JB says:

    Will Yura Movsisyan ever become eligible to play for the U.S.? He wants to play for the United States and plays a position we badly need depth at. Has there been any movement in the last year on his citizenship status?

  5. doug says:

    I cant really hate on Subotic. Im sure he has his reasons and none of them having to do with Rongen. I wish him the best. I welcome JFT with open arms. You can never have enough creative left footed players in a team.

  6. Mark says:

    Great post, Ives! At this time of year, it’s appropriate to be thankful for what we do have rather than regretful about what we may wish we had.

    As US Soccer fans, we really do have a lot to be thankful for.

    Merry Christmas.

  7. Jonathan says:

    I will always remember the moment Torres came into the US-Cuba match at RFK as a highlight of a great game in great atmosphere. Merry Christmas, all.

  8. Isaac says:

    I dont even see the reason to shed a tear for Neven. Our CBs can play against the best in the world. Torres’ future is one to look forward to.

  9. Roehl says:

    I’m going to venture a guess and say that Ives is still referring to Rossi a bit.

    We got the message. Don’t hate. Got it.

    Merry Christmas.

  10. tim says:

    well stated.

  11. mikeK says:

    What Santa bought to Torres- Hmm… Maybe a new pair of kicks. Those in the picture… too plain IMO.

    Subotic- Coal. That and um… What else do they have in Serbia?

  12. Danny says:

    Subotic was never REALLY attached to the U.S. Sure he moved here for a while, but you can’t blame him for his decision.

    G Rossi is another story. He’s a flat traitor and shouldn’t be spoken of in here. If the U.S. ever plays him in a meaningful international, I hope we bang him up. Nothing permanent, but enough to remind him who he really is.

    I’m pleased with Torres. He does have a bright future.

  13. Joamiq says:

    Eh. “Say hello”? It’s not like he picked the US yesterday.

  14. kpugs says:

    In an effort to boost the positive spin here, we can be thankful soccer isn’t like baseball. Alex Rodriguez already represented the USA at the “world cup” of baseball once, and this time around he’ll be playing for the Dominican Republic.

    Doesn’t make me happy when we lose out on guys like Subotic or Rossi, but at least we don’t have to deal with major flip flops once players choose their senior national team.

  15. jc says:

    Danny nailed it. Subotic wouldve taken the US if he had followed the traditional steps of going pro through the college system. Nobody couldve forseen him exploding onto the scene in Germany like this and starting a vicious tug-of-war between 4 nations. He’s much more European at heart than American.

    First Rossi, then Vedad Ibisevic, Edgar Castillo, now this. Torres, we love you that much more now.

    Merry Christmas

  16. Tim F. says:

    Feliz Navidad Jose Francisco!!! You know we will support you that much more.

    Rossi and Subotic will regret their decisions!!!

  17. Ryan says:

    Neven will have a fat lump of coal in his stocking. Jose will have lots of sweet toys.

  18. Christian says:

    Ives, did you even watch the Pachuca games at the CWC? Torres was far from impressive and was actually a bit of a letdown.

    With that said, sources in Mexico claim that Torres has impressed European scouts with his play the last few months. Those rumors came out before the CWC so it is still a mystery if his “bad” performances in Japan will affect his stock going into next year.

    Torres should be commended for being mature enough to make this decision and sticking by it but let’s not forget that Mexico was still his first choice.

    Happy Holidays guys.

  19. AltiCooper says:

    Does this mean we wont have to see Subotic’s name in the Yanks Abroad section anymore!? You can’t even include him in the American Born playing for other countries part as he’s not american born. So glad we won’t have to this traitor’s name anymore.

    Merry Christmas!

  20. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    Danny, you will get your wish next summer in the Confed Cup. The US and Italy are in the same group.

  21. Daniel Onoda says:

    Thanks Ives!
    Merry Christmas!

  22. rocky says:

    I think highly of torres, I really think we could have something with bradley and torres in the middle, with torres playing a more playmaking role. Are defense is still really solid, so no sweat with subotic.

  23. haha says:

    Ives, you love Torres.

  24. Isaac says:

    Nice one Danny way to take the dumbass route.

    Rossi had italian heritage. he played by the rules and plays for his country now. That doesn’t mean he’s a traitor. he’s playing for the country that he believes will offer him the best in his football career. Thats what being a professional is all about. Being the best you can be. That depends on decision making. They think these are the best decisions. I dont blame people like Rossi. Italy? the World Champions? Hell yeah I would definitely think about playing for them.

  25. Isaac says:

    AltiCooper we already do that for Rossi and Castillo.

  26. TR says:

    Over the decades the US has had its fair share of guys born or raised elsewhere such as Thomas Dooley, Earnie Stewart, Freddy Adu, Pablo Mastroeni, Tab Ramos, Hugo Perez, Werner Roth, Roy Wegerle, Preki, Fernando Clavijo, and Brian Quinn.

    What hurts are the guys who really grew up here and turned down the US.

  27. Happy Xmas says:

    It really is Subotic’s and Rossi’s loss…they could be starting in a world cup (2010)…but instead, Rossi’s probably just coming off the bench and Serbia, who knows if they even make it…I sure didn’t see them in Euro 2008.

  28. yoman says:

    What hurts are the guys who really grew up here and turned down the US.

    Posted by: TR | December 24, 2008 at 10:23 PM


    NO DUDE , what really hurts is that USSF didn’t hire a WORLD CLASS COACH like KLINSKY !

  29. Adam says:

    Thanks Ives!

  30. ryan says:

    Anyone who hates Subotic for choosing the country he is born from don’t know anything, typical American response. We always rant about how we hate Rossi because he’s Italian and chose to play for the nation his heritage came from, and now we rant because Subotic who is Serbian chose to play for Serbia, and quite frankly it’s stupid. Just because they didn’t choose ‘us’ because they lived here for a little while, or grew up here for a while, is lame. Get over it people.

  31. David W says:

    @ ryan

    Americans get upset at US citizens playing for the country of their parents’ birth because most US citizens also have a heritage in another country. Some of the major reasons why most people becomes American are economic opportunity (Rossi’s family) or escaping persecution/civil war (Ibisevic and Subotic). If people who became US citizens the conventional way (not merely by playing soccer professionally and then naturalizing) do not play for the US, how can we ever become a successful soccer nation? We need US citizens with soccer talent to play for our country, not countries with established soccer tradition.

    It’s a little like recruiting in college football and basketball. The established programs search nationwide for the best talent, and talented players who shun their home state’s school for a bigger, more successful program get major grief (Kevin Love and Eric Gordon were examples last year).

    What do we in the US have to do to attract the most talented US citizens to play for our national team? Play most of our games in Europe like Brazil does? Petition to join UEFA?

  32. Jason says:

    we want Seb Hines! ignore him please Capello.

  33. jc says:

    @ ryan

    i was born and lived in belgium and am half greek and would play hands down for the US. I’m also very proud and nationalistic with each of these cultures. So why would I have picked the US if I were in a situation like that, because my soccer developed here when i moved to the US. SAME goes for Subotic and Rossi…both developed their game on US soil. period.

  34. frank says:

    in the case of Subotic, if it wasn’t for being spotted by US Soccer scouts kicking a ball in Bradenton, he’d be working the drive through window at a Bradenton McDonalds rather than playing in the big time…

    and if it wasn’t for the USA giving his family refuge, for all we know he might not have lived to see this day…

  35. Tim says:

    @JC, that’s just you. What’s so wrong with a Serbian playing for Serbia and an Italian citizen (from birth) playing for Italy? And let’s not forget that Torres wanted to play for Mexico but ended up picking the team that actually needed a decent left midfielder.

  36. J.K says:

    Cheers Ives! Happy Christmas America, and Merry Christmas Torres.

  37. BlueWhiteLion says:

    Look, I agree with Ryan, even though I went through loooong spells angry at Rossi, and I am “sad” that Subotic has chosen elsewhere.

    But really, that is just a reflection on MY feelings as a die-hard supporter of Soccer first, and closely to that, of US Soccer.

    But really, those guys have done nothing wrong.

    Ooops, Christmas duty calls. Peace.

  38. Bill says:

    I hope young Neven gets a bag of coal, crabs, and VD for Christmas.

  39. yoman says:

    JC, Rossi left US in Summer of 1999 when he was 12. Most of his development came @ Parma between 2000 t0 2004 and @ Man . U between 2004 to 2006.

    Anyway, USA still has the American Pele aka ADU !

  40. Robert says:

    Very true… happy christian day to all (Christians)

  41. docsoccer says:

    who even knows if rossi awill make the squad will tone, gilardino, aquafresca, del piero, di natale, quargareialle, pepe, la quinta, di viao,Amauri, Cassano, Floccrari, Corradi, it would be funny if he dint even play. its dissapointing we werent torres first choice but castillo the one guy out of all these guys who expected to be called up buy us and would ve accpeted, would be our starting left back did. Ibsevic probably wouldve never worked because of green card issues.

  42. Joamiq says:

    yoman: Rossi went to Clifton High School in Jersey, so, no.

  43. yoman says:



    Rossi left for Parma in summer of 1999 at the age of 12.7 years. He was officially representing Parma Youth teams as of Jan, 2000 and played for Parma Youth teams till June of 2004 when he was bought by Man.U.

    One more thing, where was the outcry from US fans when U20 Coach told Neven that he sucked and didn’t select him to play in

    u20 WC in 2007?

    C 2007.

  44. Flyingoose says:

    Good call, Ives. Honestly, you have to respect whatever decision a player makes, especially if it has to do with their comfort zone, because they will likely perform best in that situation.

  45. Carl says:

    If a player happens to be in a situation where he leaves his country and comes to the US and it treats him well, he should play for us out of pure respect for what we have provided him… Just because my dad had to leave Slovenia during the war dosent mean I would ever root or play for them before playing for the USA..

  46. PCFC says:

    One of the most refreshing articles of the year. Thank you Ives.

  47. machine says:

    neven and rossi should not be able to step on american soil!

  48. mtrostrs says:

    good riddence to rossi, let him go pose shirtless for italy. Hopefully Bradley uses Torres and doesnt waste his talent

  49. TimN says:

    jc and Frank…great points and good posts.

    @ my fellow Tim,

    Torres picked the U.S. over Mexico because we are the best team in CONCACAF, and he knows it. We’ve owned Mexico over the last 7-8 years, and their federation has been rife with conflict, discontent, and coaching changes. The U.S. was clearly the superior choice, for many reasons other than what you cite. BTW, are you American? Just curious, because you seem to really have a poor opinion of the MNT and the USSF based on many of your posts. I acknowledge that they’re not perfect by any stretch, but they’re our team and our country. Try giving them a little support.

    I think the reason people were not happy with Subotic is because he developed his game in the U.S., both in college and in the USSF. The U.S. also gave him refuge when the going was tough. Some now feel jilted by his decision, and perhaps rightfully so.

  50. Johhny Boy says:

    “What do we in the US have to do to attract the most talented US citizens to play for our national team?”

    We are going to have to show we are a lot more serious about making some real noise at the World Cup. US players of Subotic’s age and younger are much more sophisticated than they were 5-10 years ago. They understand the business better. I’m a fan of Bradley but if the USMNT had a coach with the symbolic power of a Klinsmann or Capello then that would have made it much harder for Rossi and Subotic to go anywhere else. As it is, they know the USSF is just going for mediocre and they know even our best young “traitor” players [it works both ways]( Jozy[Haiti] and Freddy[Ghana])are second or maybe third,rate in Europe. So, until the US gets serious about taking the World Cup, they will always have trouble with those kids talented and lucky enough to have their choice of countries to play for.

    International soccer is a business and there is big money to be made. An Italian or Serbian international gets just a little more attention from the big European clubs than an American one. Rossi , if nothing else, is doing smart business.

    Surely, a country that understands the slimeball world of college sports recruiting, can understand that. If your kid could play hoops and you lived in NY city would you rather he play for Kansas,or UNC or Duke or would you want him to stay home and play for CW Post or Fordham?

    You all should be a lot more careful about throwing around words like traitor.

  51. TimN says:

    @ Johhny Boy,

    Yes, some have used the word “traitor,” and I agree that’s a bit strong and harsh. However, the examples you cite of Jozy/Haiti and Freddie/Ghana actually illustrate the point that I believe some are trying to make with guys like Subotic and Rossi. Jozy’s and Freddie’s games were developed HERE, not in Haiti or Ghana, so choosing the U.S. was not only a loyal move to the federation that built them up, but also in those two particular cases was the “smarter” one. Now, Serbia may get more “attention” than the U.S. in Europe by the clubs, but on the flip side Serbia was not where Subotic got his early football opportunities, or developed his game. It was the U.S., so I guess some feel he is not showing appreciation to the hand that fed him.

  52. Christian says:


    Not sure if you know or care but the US wasn’t Torres’s first choice, it was Mexico.

    And you can’t be that insecure to claim that Neven owes you something, he didn’t, the US took a chance with helping a foreign player develop and the kid made his choice.

    His parents had to pay hefty fees to come to the US and they also pay their taxes. What more do you want?

  53. huricano says:

    Is there any chance of this guy making a move to Europe?