Creighton men’s soccer legend Johnny Torres was among the six members inducted into the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame at a ceremony earlier this morning at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
Torres became the first soccer representative inducted into the MVC Hall of Fame and the sixth Creighton member in the Valley’s Hall. Arguably the greatest soccer player in school and league history, Torres was a two-time National Player of the Year for the Bluejays during his career which spanned from 1994 to 1997.
“I feel honored that the Missouri Valley Conference has chosen me to represent Creighton soccer in its Hall of Fame,” said Torres in October upon learning of his honor. “I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to play for Creighton as part of this conference, and am thrilled to remain a part of both today. I want to thank my teammates, as I was only able to be as good as they were. They made me look good. I’d also like to thank my coaches, Bob Warming and Bret Simon, for giving me the chance to succeed on the collegiate level and allowing me to receive such a high honor.”
In 1997 Torres won both the Hermann Trophy and the Missouri Athletic Club Award (prior to the combination of the awards), recognizing him as the National Player of the Year. In 1996 he earned Player of the Year honors from Soccer America after leading the Bluejays to their first College Cup appearance. The 1997 MVC Player of the Year, he remains the only two-time first-team NSCAA All-American in the storied history of Creighton soccer.
A 2004 Creighton Athletics Hall of Fame Inductee, he earned first-team all-region and first-team all-conference honors three times for the Bluejays. Torres was named to the MVC All-Centennial Team, earning the most on-line votes in the fan poll conducted during the 2006-07 school year. When his career ended, he was the Valley’s all-time scoring (128 points) and assists (36) leader. Torres scored 46 goals in his Creighton career, still good for fourth on the school’s all-time scoring list.
A native of Medellin, Colombia, Torres turned his successful collegiate career into a professional career which has now spanned more than a decade. The fifth overall pick in the first round of the 1998 MLS SuperDraft by the New England Revolution, he played for the Revolution for four seasons and also played for the Miami Fusion and Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer. He played in the USL for the Minnesota Thunder and the Milwaukee Wave United, before moving to the indoor game with the Milwaukee Wave. Torres recently announced he has signed to play the upcoming 2010-11 season with the expansion Omaha Vipers of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL).
Torres, who will enter his fourth season as a full-time assistant at Creighton in the fall, returned to Omaha in the fall of 2007 to complete his bachelor’s degree. After receiving the NCAA Degree Completion Award, he earned his degree in social work from Creighton in the spring of 2008.
Basketball standout Joe Allen of Bradley, NFL Hall of Famer Steve Largent of Tulsa, gymnastics icon Kurt Thomas of Indiana State, collegiate football pioneer Linwood Sexton of Wichita State and volleyball coaching legend Iradge Ahrabi-Fard of Northern Iowa joined Torres in comprising the 14th MVC Hall of Fame class.
Previous Creighton inductees into the MVC Hall of Fame include – Dr. Lee C. Bevilacqua (1998 – Paul Morrison Award), Bob Gibson (2005 – Institutional Great), Bob Harstad (2008), Eddie Hickey (2009) and Kyle Korver (2010).