Erick Torres
USA Today Sports Images

Replacing Torres no easy task for Goats

Chivas USA has a tall task ahead of it on Sunday.

The Goats have been struggling of late, with Marky Delgado's second-half goal on Wednesday against Seattle breaking an extended goalless drought that was pushing historic limits.

The scary part for Chivas USA? Nearly all of those minutes were played with star striker Erick Torres in the fold. Now thanks to an international call-up with Mexico, "Cubo" is set to miss Sunday's match against the Crew.

The Goats have several likely replacements, including both former Black & Gold forward Ryan Finley and recent acquisition Felix Borja, who Crew Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter praised at training on Friday. Still, since his 2013 MLS debut, no team is as reliant on one player to score goals as Chivas USA is with Torres:

Club Team Goals Leading Scorer Goals % of Team Goals
CHV 36 Erick Torres 21 58.3%
SJ 43 Chris Wondolowski 16 37.2%
SKC 56 Dominic Dwyer 19 33.9%
NY 68 Bradley Wright-Phillips 21 30.9%
MTL 46 Marco Di Vaio 14 30.4%
LA 77 Robbie Keane 23 29.9%
HOU 47 Will Bruin 14 29.8%
CHI 59 Mike Magee 17 28.8%
CLB 54 Federico Higuain 15 27.8%
TFC 48 Jermain Defoe 11 22.9%
COL 59 Deshorn Brown 13 22.0%
NE 64 Lee Nguyen 14 21.9%
PHI 51 Sebastien Le Toux 11 21.6%
RSL 65 Alvaro Saborio 14 21.5%
SEA 69 Obafemi Martins 14 20.3%
DCU 56 Luis Silva 11 19.6%
POR 68 Diego Valeri 13 19.1%
FCD 66 Blas Perez 11 16.7%
VAN 54 Pedro Morales 7 13.0%

The above chart displays each club's total goals and leading individual goal scorer since Cubo's MLS debut on July 17, 2013. The Chivas USA striker has 21 goals in 40 matches since coming to MLS on loan from Chivas de Guadalajara. Over that span, no other club is more reliant on one player to score its goals, and it's not even particularly close.

Cubo's importance is not just smoke and mirrors caused by percentages: only one player in all of MLS since his debut has scored more League goals: LA's Robbie Keane, with 23. 

If we shrink the sample size to just this season, Torres' importance ticks upward ever so slightly. The 21-year-old has 14 of the Goats' 23 goals in 2014, or 60.9% of their total.

Replacing that chunk of the pie is not an easy thing to do, but it's what Chivas USA Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera faces on Sunday at Crew Stadium.

HOLIDAY GIFT PACK: Give the gift of #Crew96 and get 2 WINTER HATS + 2 TICKETS to the 2020 Home Opener!