Román Torres is currently in the Seattle area, rather than training with his teammates in Tucson, Ariz., the club confirmed on Monday. The news was first reported by Sounder at Heart’s Niko Moreno, who said a source spotted Torres at a Renton gym.
Una fuente me acaba de confirmar que Román Torres fue visto entrando a un gimnasio de la ciudad de Renton WA, a pesar de que #SoundersFC continúa su preparación en Arizona. La razón de su separación del grupo es desconocida en este momento y no quiero especular. #MLS— Niko Moreno (@ELROLONW) February 11, 2019
Neither Moreno nor the Seattle Sounders gave a reason for the separation, although it could be any number of things. One possibility is a routine change in scenery, potentially for fitness reasons. Another possibility is that Torres is being prepared for a move.
It could also be a sign that Torres remains unhappy with his role within the team. Torres has apparently never been happy about losing his starting job to Kim Kee-hee for what he feels is a combination of injury and World Cup absence. The reality, of course, is a bit more nuanced as regardless of why Kim got his first starts, he was outstanding once he got them.
Torres started the first five matches of 2018, but he didn’t make his sixth start of the season until 15 matches later and then only started one of the Sounders’ final 18 regular-season matches. He did play well in a substitute role in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals and when he started the second leg.
Sources have indicated that the Sounders have tried to trade Torres, but that the market has not been as robust as expected. That could soon change as rosters settle in around the league and teams have a better sense of what they need. Torres seemed to be in good spirits when training camp opened, raising hopes that he may have grown more comfortable with potentially serving as the team’s third center back.