Atlanta United’s Torres: Goals will come

Atlanta United forward Erick Torres (left) and Inter Miami defender A. J. DeLaGarza (right) fight for the ball during the first half Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Brynn Anderson/AP)
Atlanta United forward Erick Torres (left) and Inter Miami defender A. J. DeLaGarza (right) fight for the ball during the first half Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Brynn Anderson/AP)

Credit: Brynn Anderson

Credit: Brynn Anderson

If Erick Torres were to break his goal drought for Atlanta United in Saturday’s game against D.C. United, the team’s supporters might pool their money to pay for a statue.

Torres, brought to the team on a free transfer to replace the injured Josef Martinez, has yet to find the back of the net in nine appearances.

Atlanta United is in 11th in the Eastern Conference with four games remaining. D.C. United is in last. The top 10 teams will advance to the playoffs.

Atlanta United needs offense and it needs it now. It has been held to one shot on goal in each of its past three games. The one shot on goal that came in last week’s 1-0 loss to Toronto was hit by Torres. Like so many of his chances this season, it was saved.

That’s the positive that Torres is focusing on: he’s getting into good positions to score and he’s getting good service from teammates. Now, he just needs one to roll across that line. Torres said he’s working with his mental coach on staying calm and relaxed.

“I know that the goals will eventually come,” Torres, 27, said.

In 359 minutes, Torres has taken nine shots, putting five on goal. Some of his shots have been right at goalkeepers. Some have been stopped by great saves. Some have gone just wide.

Torres noted that he has gone through droughts before that do eventually end. While with Houston, he didn’t score in his first two seasons before pouring in 14 in 2017. At Chivas, he scored seven in 2013 and then 15 in 2014.

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