Rapids Sign Mexican Standout Antonio de la Torre
DENVER, CO (03-22-04)- With only 12 days left before the team's 2004 season opener, the Colorado Rapids announced today the signing of seven-year Mexican veteran Antonio de la Torre to a multi-year deal with Major League Soccer. De la Torre, who is commonly referred to as "Toño" (Toe-nyo), becomes the only Mexican player currently contracted to any team in MLS that has experience both in the Mexican First and Second divisions. Per league policy, details of the contract were not disclosed.
De la Torre inked his deal with MLS after spending the last four weeks training with the Rapids during the team's 2004 preseason. With the Mexican defender in the lineup during the scrimmages, the Rapids posted an impressive 5-1-2 record during the two-month preseason stint.
The vast experience of the former Mexican First and Second Division player extends to teams such as Club Atlas (1st Division), Necaxa (1st Division), Atlante (1st Division), Irapuato (Primera "A" Division and 1st Division), Marte (Primera "A" Division), Acapulco (Primera "A" Division), Potros D.F. (Primera "A" Division), Jaguares de Tapachula (Primera "A" Division) and most recently with Cobras de Cd. Juarez, who finished as the runner up in the Mexican Primera "A" Division in 2003.
De la Torre will bring a two-dimensional vision to the club, having proven himself playing both in midfield and at right back. The skillful player who was an instrumental piece in Irapuato's promotion from Primera "A" division to the 1st Division in the 1999/2000 season, has dual citizenship (MEX-USA) and does not count as a senior international for the Rapids.
Toño's soccer lineage can be traced throughout his family. His father Antonio de la Torre played many years in the Mexican first division back in the 70's for clubs such as Pumas, América and Puebla, and he was also part of the Mexican national team that participated in the 1978 World Cup. One of his uncles, "Yayo" de la Torre, is currently the head coach for Santos Laguna of the Mexican first division, while his other uncle, "Chepo" de la Torre is the assistant coach for Leo Beenhakker at Club América.
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