MIAMI - U.S. midfielder Jose Francisco Torres expects a hostile reception from Mexico fans at the Azteca Stadium on Wednesday when he lines up against his father's country but says he has heard it all before. Texas-born Torres, a member of the U.S. team since last October, has played all his professional career in the Mexican league after joining Pachuca as a 16-year-old. "I get it a lot, with my club team, I get it a lot. I guess it is part of soccer, people will say things, boo you, I am used to it," the 21-year-old told Reuters in an interview after training with the U.S. team on Monday. I don't think it will hurt me or anything. I am prepared for anything. "People say I am a traitor, that I am a racist because I am with the U.S. team, but it is part of soccer. Words won't hurt you, won't kill you. I just try to work hard everyday and do my best; give everything I've got to earn myself a spot on the U.S national team," he said. Mexico are fourth in the six-nation World Cup qualifying stage for the CONCACAF region covering North and Central America and the Caribbean. The U.S. are second, four points ahead of Mexico, and only the top three teams will head directly to next year's World Cup finals in South Africa. The mathematics makes Wednesday fixture - always a tense rivalry - into an even bigger occasion and Torres, who has dual nationality, could have a big role. The midfielder made his U.S debut against Cuba in October and has impressed coach Bob Bradley with his tenacious hard work, smart touch and impressive running down the left flank. "I like to get on the ball and attack," said Torres, who added he was not worried about being off Bradley's radar by playing south of the border. "I think Bob when he sees talent, he keeps his attention on you. I am doing good things with my team and trying to do good things here with Bob. I am happy and I don't regret the decision I made -- I am good with the national team," he said. Torres was offered the chance to represent the U.S at last year's Olympics but had to pass up the chance due to club commitments. "I had the chance to play in the Olympic Games but my team didn't release me. I never knew I would make it to the national team, I thought my chance was over," he said. "My career is in Mexico, my team is in Mexico, I have been there since I was 16 years old and now I am on the other side with the U.S. national team. I think it is going to be a great game, playing against Mexico in Mexico. We are going down there to try to win".
11 August 2009
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