Orlando City's Facundo Torres scores brace in 3-0 win over New York Red Bulls | OneFootball

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·4 June 2023

Orlando City's Facundo Torres scores brace in 3-0 win over New York Red Bulls

Article image:Orlando City's Facundo Torres scores brace in 3-0 win over New York Red Bulls

No need to ignore the elephant in the room: Orlando City has been expecting big things from Facundo Torres, the 23-year-old Uruguayan winger with a bright future.

The young Designated Player, who came to the Lions with a club-record signing fee reported in the $7.5m plus incentives, had a slow start last year when he arrived from Uruguayan side Club Atlético Peñarol, but eventually found form - posting nine goals and ten assists in 33 matches.

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This year would also be another slow start for Torres, going into Matchday 17 with a paltry two goals and two assists – but if anyone drank the well-known energy drink at the Red Bull Arena, it was the wily charrúa who made mincemeat out of an uninspired NY side that did little to mitigate the thumping.

"I'm the first one to recognize that and know that I need to work and try to find my game, and it was the same thing last year where I had to work to find my game," Torres said through a translator after the match. "I think the way we've been playing the last couple of weeks and the way we've been working together has really helped me add to my confidence."

With a brace on two attempts – the first one from the penalty spot at the 52' mark to put the Lions up 2-0, he'd seal NY's coffin exactly 20 minutes later, cooly putting an Iván Angulo pass into the back of Carlos Miguel's net.

This is Orlando's fifth consecutive game unbeaten, putting them on the eighth rung of the Eastern Conference table, tied with 23 points with D.C. United.

Torres, who was called to Uruguay's World Cup squad last year, has already gotten the nod from new national gaffer Marcelo Bielsa for June friendlies against Nicaragua and Cuba.

"When you're having good adaptations and good run of form with your club, it's just going to help you even more with the national team and when you get called up. Obviously, we've all been wanting to work hard with [Bielsa] coming in...and for me, I'm just incredibly proud," Torres said.

Torres and fellow Designated Players, Argentina's Martín Ojeda and Austrian international Ercan Kara, factor into head coach Óscar Pareja's designs for rising steady through the table.

"It's important for him to score," said Pareja. "It's important for him to [have] one of these games like tonight where he's happy scoring two goals and carrying the team on his shoulders. We don't want to throw the full responsibility on him on scoring, but obviously he knows that, and today was a night where it may be a turning point for him as well."

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