After discharge from Rodolfo Pizarro for the 2021 Gold Cup, his place was taken by Efrain Alvarez, promise of Mexican football that plays in The Los Angeles Galaxy and that he was even in the sights of USA, but in the end, he decided to defend the Mexican team.
The extreme was formed in the Galactic Academy, counting on both Aztec and American nationality, since his father is from Guadalajara and his mother from Zacatecas, while his birth took place in Los Angeles. With the Tricolor he has defended the cause of the U-15 and U-17, with the first he raised the CONCACAF championship, and with the second he went to the World Cup in the category in 2019, scoring from a free kick against Netherlands, where Mexico won from eleven steps during the semifinals, however, they lost the grand final to Brazil by 2-1.
In the case of The Stars and Stripes, put on the jersey with the U-15, lifting the title of the 2016 Football Festival in Rosario, Argentina, transforming four goals in the same number of commitments. The Americans did not take their finger off the line about taking him to their team until the Californian made his decision, but if he did not see any minute in the regional tournament, he could still wear the shirt of the uncomfortable neighbor because he has not participated in an official FIFA match .
For three years the winger stayed in The Galaxy II, reaping 13 goals in 20 games, until he got the opportunity to move up to the first team in 2019, receiving praise from his then teammate, the Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic, adding two goals in 18 games during his first campaign.
It should be noted that Efra is the youngest player to sign for the USL Championship, a record held by the Canadian Alphonso Davies. In addition, the Aztec also established himself as the youngest footballer to debut in the USL.
How was your season?
So far in the current season of the Major League Soccer, the Mexican-American has played a total of nine duels getting a score, in 429 minutes played, without being able to play on Date 1 by staying on the bench, while in J10 he was not called up. Anyway, The Galaxy is located in the third position of the Western Conference with 21 units, five behind the leader, totally improving what was done in the last season, where he was third to last with just 22 points.
His performance last season cannot be described as outstanding or excellent either, since of the 14 games he only contributed one target and one assist, completing the 90 minutes in a single game. Already in the MLS is Back Tournamente, he also saw little action, 18 minutes in two games, constantly playing a relief role.
At the selection level there was not much to highlight either, since he received his first calls with the team led by the Argentine Gerardo Martino, but without being able to win a site as a headline. He stayed on the bench for the friendlies against Honduras, Panama and Iceland, as well as in the CONCACAF Nations League Final Four, debuting on March 30, 2021 in a 0-1 victory over Costa Rica, by adding nine minutes. Already on July 4 he added another 23 minutes in the 4-0 win over Nigeria.
The quality he possesses is known, so in the face of several absences in the tricolor squad, it could be time to show all his credentials.
The national team is a winger, left-handed, who likes to face, with good ball goals.
The position that best dominates is that of attacking midfielder, acting as a ’10’, but he is not unaware of acting as a right winger, leaving in question how El Tata will use it for the gold CupBecause with the few minutes he has played for now, it is not possible to define what his role will be.
Other positions used in his short career, although only in a few crashes, have been inside right, center forward and midfielder.
Receiving praise from a player who classifies himself as a God must be difficult, but the Swede had no qualms about accepting that the Californian has a unique talent, realizing when both agreed on The Galaxy.
“He is the best young talent in MLS by far. The club, the team, the coach have to take care of him in the best way, he needs to work hard, not lose focus, focus and not lose him for all the attention, keep working. For me, he knows soccer. There are players who play soccer and players who think about soccer. Álvarez is a player who thinks about soccer and they are the best because the boy who plays is training to play, those who think they are made to play, is the difference “, launched the European in his stay with the Los Angeles club.
In addition to this, the father of the attacker, Cresencio Alvarez, revealed that the two-time World Cup player is like a second father to his son, since they even maintain communication, also the father of the young Aztec agrees to be very grateful to the AC Milan player for everything he was able to teach his offspring.
“Zlatan is a very good person. I am grateful to that man, because he was like Efra’s second father, because he taught him a lot. He is a very professional person, I am grateful to him. I do not know that my boy has, but they still have communication, even though he is now in Milan “, said the tapatío.
About the communication of Efra with the international star, the Mexican declared: “He still talked to him, he’s a very good person to me, he helped me in everything, I talk to him, we make fun of ourselves and we have a good friendship, he’s a very good person. As a footballer I didn’t think I needed the advice he gave me and now is helping me “.
Jonathan dos Santos: “We know that he is a very talented player, with a great future. I hope he decides to stay with us, with the Mexican national team. In the Galaxy I also see him very well. It is true that he did not have minutes the other day, but I know it will be a very important player because – as I told you – he is a player with a lot of talent, a lot of quality. It is one of the years that I see him the best physically. He already has quality “.
Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández: “It is the talent and quality that Efraín has, I am the first to expect a lot from him because he is a diamond, he has to improve a lot, he has to learn, he is very young, but I always say it, he is a national team player, we need wait for team player performances “.
Gerardo Martino, DT from Mexico, after the player’s debut with the national team: “Efraín is a young boy who is always good to be around, to know him, to know how he trains, even though he has only entered 15 minutes, he does it well”.
Jaime lozano, coach of the pre-Olympic team, who saw it: “Obviously he is someone interesting, he is someone different, he is a great player and I think he has a lot of potential and you have to take him step by step”.
The performance of Efra on the MLS has not gone unnoticed internationally, because two years ago the renowned British newspaper The Guardian placed him among the 60 best young talents in the world born in 2002.
“Álvarez is full of tricks, creativity and has scored some special goals. His raw talent has earned the praise of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. “, described the medium.
In that list he accompanied footballers such as the Bisauguinean Ansu Fati From Barcelona; icelandic Andri Lucas Gudjohnsen of Real Madrid, the Dutch Ryan gravenberch of Ajax, the brazilian Reinier Borussia Dortmund, the French Adill aouchiche of PSG, among others.
In the video game of EA Sports, the Mexican American has a rating of 64 with possibilities of ascending to 79, envisioning that he has a bright future ahead of him.
His best points are agility (79), balance (79) and acceleration (69).
The U-17 world runner-up has a potential to 49, however, its range may increase between 60 Y 80, so having the best professional development aims for the highest.
One of the highest ratings of the left-hander is his instinct (17), with which he can change the result of the match from one moment to another, having a similar performance to players like the Ecuadorian Gonzalo silver, his compatriot Marcel ruiz or spanish Ander Barrenetxea.
After the last friendly played by the Mexican team against Nigeria, it was hinted that Martino already has his starting eleven well established, so Ephraim He will surely have a role as a relief, although he can probably add more minutes than in said duel.
Having ahead of Hirving lozano, Edson Alvarez, Jonathan Dos Santos, among others, it will be difficult for him to demonstrate the 90 minutes, but he will have to take advantage of the little time that can be granted to continue in the sights of the Tricolor in order to be able to make an appearance at the start of the CONCACAF Qualifiers to him Qatar World Cup 2022.
There is also the possibility that El Tata has an ace up his sleeve and sends him as a starter against certain rivals. For now we only have to wait for the start of the tournament and see how the talented player of the Galaxy.
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