SAN DIEGO — Need a reason to watch the World Cup, San Diegans? Well, we have two for you: to cheer on the U.S. Men’s National Team and local product Luca de la Torre.

De la Torre is a midfielder for the USMNT who has appeared in eight of the 12 international matches in 2022, according to his U.S. Soccer profile. When the 24-year-old is not with the national team, he is overseas playing for his club squad Celta de Vigo in Spain’s La Liga.

Like most San Diegans, De la Torre enjoyed going to the San Diego Zoo, Legoland, Westfield UTC mall and eating Mexican food at Roberto’s in La Jolla while growing up in the area, he told U.S. Soccer. He also loves taking his mother to La Jolla’s Urban Plates.

De la Torre is an only child to parents Juan de la Torre and Anne Bang. Juan, who is originally from the Spanish Canary Islands, is a professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego. Bang works in La Jolla as the director of stem cell biology at the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

During his youth soccer years, he played for Carmel Valley Sharks, Carmel Valley Manchester Soccer Club, Nomads Youth Soccer Club and San Diego Surf.

Luca, as well as the rest of the USMNT, received a shoutout from the popular TV series character “Ted Lasso” that can be found on a billboard in the San Diegan’s hometown. The letter reads:


There must be something in the San Diego water to make it one of the U.S.’s happiest cities. Or maybe it has to do with the sunshine. Or all the surfing. Or maybe it’s the iconic folks born here that’s bringing ‘em joy. They got a legendary skateboarder. A legendary children’s poet. A legendary anchorman. And of course: a legendary soccer player, Luca de la Torrific. I’m no scientist or San Diego-ist, but my studies show this city’s about to crank up the happy once you stroll onto soccer’s biggest stage. You’re gonna give them something to smile about from the top of the podium.

Best of Luca,
Ted Lasso

Tune it to see if Luca takes the field for the USMNT’s next group stage match against Iran Tuesday at 11 a.m. on FOX 5.