As recently as a week ago, hardly any Seattle Sounders fans could tell you much about Roman Torres. Maybe they vaguely knew his name from his standout performance with Panama in the Gold Cup. Of course, that changed over the last several days and now there's likely more anticipation around his debut than any other defensive player in Sounders history.
And according to Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid, that debut could come very soon.
"We need to get people on the field as quickly as we can," Schmid told KJR on Wednesday, noting that Torres played as recently as three weeks ago and had been training with Millonarios since. "We'll see how he feels, but there's a good chance he'll play some major minutes on Sunday."
For a defender to play "major minutes," he'd almost certainly have to start. With Osvaldo Alonso still likely out due to a hamstring injury, that probably means Brad Evans will be reprising his role from last Sunday in the midfield.
"I was really pleased how that looked," Schmid said about Evans. "I don't know when Ozzie will be back. So we wanted more depth in midfield. I thought he did a really good job at center back, but Brad is the kind of guy who can play anywhere. He's going to be playing minutes."
From the sound of it, Evans' move to center back may have never been intended to be permanent. Not only did Schmid note that he thought outside back was Evans' "most natural" position, but the Sounders' pursuit of Torres appears to have been more a matter of "when" not "if" they'd bring him in.
"We actually tried to get [Torres] earlier but it was cost prohibitive," Schmid said. "We knew we'd get him in January, but they were still going back and forth about a transfer fee. But they backed off and we were able to get him now. I already got a call from Jurgen Klinsmann saying ‘That was the best center back in the entire Gold Cup.'"