CARSON, Calif. (March 18, 2013) --- Former UConn soccer captain Carlos Alvarez wasted no time making his presence felt in the professional ranks of the MLS.
Alvarez, drafted No. 2 overall by Chivas USA, made his MLS debut against the L.A. Galaxy Sunday in the SuperClasico, entering the game as a substitute at halftime. With less than one minute remaining, Alvarez outran everyone to reach a low cross from teammate Carlos Borja and sent it into the net to secure a 1-1 tie at The Home Depot Center.
It was just the second time in the last nine meetings that Chivas had avoided losing to their cross-stadium rivals. The Galaxy holds a 16-4-6 record in MLS regular-season games against Chivas.
Alvarez (Los Angeles, Calif.), a two-time UConn captain and two-time second-team All-American, said he was just at the right place at the right time.
“It’s not my goal, it’s the whole team’s goal,” Alvarez said. “The team deserves this. I saw Borja playing one-two with Eric Avila and then he crossed the ball. My job is to run to the back post. I was there and just pushed it in. We all fought hard on the field and thankfully, I was the fortunate one to have scored. The atmosphere is something big here and I’m grateful I was part of this.”
Alvarez ranks No. 14 all-time at UConn with 82 points and he is third on the all-time assists list with 42. He now has a place on the MLS scoring list.
“I just turned, first-timed a pass to a cutting Alvarez, who made a spectacular run,” said Borja. “All he had to do was tap it in. Beautiful! His debut, his first MLS goal … what better day to do it than in the SuperClasico.”
Alvarez, the 2012 BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year, earned plenty of praise from Chivas coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola.
“Alvarez was a great college soccer player, but the MLS level is different and he’s adjusting to it,” Sanchez Sola said. “He keeps making the effort day in and day out, but please, let’s talk about Alvarez the human being, the young guy with big charisma, the guy who today, making his debut in the league, scored his first goal, and nonetheless, against the Galaxy. He grew up loving this institution, in this city, and he scored in front of his family, his friends, and followers. We should feel fortunate to have him.”