Dynamo sell “Cubo” Torres to Pumas UNAM for reported $2 million transfer fee

Cubo Torres' time with the Dynamo is at an end. Victor Araiza/SportsMap

Erick “ Cubo” Torres’ time in Houston is up.

The Houston Dynamo have parted ways with the 25-year-old Mexican forward after Liga MX side Pumas UNAM completed his purchase for a reported $2 million fee on Wednesday night. Torres was at Houston Sports Park Wednesday morning but by nightfall he was in Mexico City to be announced as a new signing on a national broadcast of his new club’s 3-0 win over Club Juarez in Copa MX.

"It's the best moment of my career and personal life,” said Torres to Televisa Deportes. "I've just turned 25 and have experience in the national team, youth national teams and in important clubs. I'm coming at an age at which, without doubt, I will do big things."

The Dynamo signed Torres to a five-year deal after purchasing him from Liga MX side Club Guadalajara for a reported $7 million in December of 2014. He played the first six months of his deal in Mexico as part of a loan and did not debut in Houston until July 27, 2015 in a 3-0 home win vs. LA Galaxy.

Torres broke out for the Dynamo in 2017 with 14 goals - surpassing Brian Ching’s club record for most MLS goals in a season - after failing to find the back of the net in his first two years. Eight of those goals came in the first 10 matches of the season with his last goal coming as part of a double that rescued a 3-3 draw on August 23 at rival FC Dallas.

“My mind right now is on making a great preseason,” said Torres on Tuesday morning after the Dynamo opened their preseason. “There’s a World Cup coming, I don’t know what could happen. I’m preparing myself for that, to apply pressure, to be in the sight of [Mexican National Team Manager] Juan Carlos Osorio.”

Torres was the highest paid player on the Dynamo in 2017 with a base salary of $650,000, according to the Major League Soccer Players Association website. Houston fielded the team with the lowest team salary in the league as they made a run to the Western Conference final.

Major League Soccer, like several other pro leagues in the United States, operates with a salary cap. The Dynamo had shopped Torres previously in an effort to clear up cap space.

Dynamo GM Matt Jordan will be on Soccer Matters Thursday night with Glenn Davis at 7 p.m. on ESPN 97.5.

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Carlos Correa had a big home run Saturday night. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With four wins in a row, including the first two of this series, Houston had a chance to keep their momentum going to lock up a series win on Saturday in this four-game set. Although Texas would make it interesting late, the Astros would hold them off to get the victory.

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 5

Astros' Record: 23-17, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia (1-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dane Dunning (2-3)

Action in the first

After getting trounced the night prior, the Rangers managed to grab early momentum with a run to start the scoring Saturday night against Luis Garcia. It came after a one-out triple set up a sac fly, giving Texas a 1-0 lead. Houston quickly took control back in their favor, though, putting up four in the bottom of the inning on a two-RBI single by Alex Bregman and a two-run homer by Carlos Correa, making it 4-1 Astros.

The scoreboard went quiet after that inning, with both teams slowing down at the plate. Garcia put together a decent night, allowing just the one run over five innings of work, erasing some runners throughout the night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 94 P.

Rangers tighten it up late

Bryan Abreu was the first reliever to enter for Houston, taking over for Garcia in the top of the sixth. He worked around a leadoff single, keeping it a three-run game, then returned for a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. Correa led off with a double in the bottom of the inning, setting up a two-run Kyle Tucker homer, extending his recent hot streak and the lead to 6-1.

Ryne Stanek took over on the mound for Houston in the top of the eighth but worked himself into trouble with a single and walk to set up a three-run homer by Joey Gallo to make it a two-run game at 6-4. He would manage just one out before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Brandon Bielak. Bielak would allow a run while getting the final two outs, making it 6-5.

Astros secure the series

After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, Ryan Pressly would try to notch another save and close the door on the Rangers. He would get the job done, sitting the Rangers down in order, keeping Houston's winning streak intact.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game set will start at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Lance McCullers JR. (3-1, 3.10 ERA), fresh off of a recent gem, will look to continue his success for the Astros, while Kyle Gibson (3-0, 2.28) will try to stay perfect on the season for the Rangers.

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