UConn's Carlos Alvarez drafted to MLS
Huskies' midfielder chosen No. 2 overall by Chivas USA
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 18:08
With the No. 2 overall pick in this year's MLS SuperDraft, Chivas USA selected UConn midfielder Carlos Alvarez.
Alvarez had played at the University of Connecticut for the past four seasons. In that time he played in 82 games and started in 81 of them. He finished his career with 20 goals and 42 assists. His 82 points puts him at No. 14 all-time in the history of UConn soccer.
“It’s the best thing to happen to me since playing soccer,” an ecstatic Alvarez said over the phone about the school and its soccer program.
In the past two seasons, UConn has had three players drafted in the first round. Last season, Andre Jean Baptiste was drafted No. 8 overall and Tony Cascio was drafted No. 14 overall. Jean Baptiste is currently in Portland and Cascio is playing for Colorado.
Of the 26 players who have ever been drafted to the MLS out of UConn, nine of them were chosen in the first round.
“The program is unbelievable,” Alvarez said of UConn men’s soccer. “It’s one of the best programs in the nation.”
Not only did Alvarez acknowledge the past success of the UConn program, but he said that will continue to do well in the future.
“They do such a wonderful job from the coaches to the managers over there,” Alvarez said. “Once they get over the lump of the Elite 8, they’re going to continue to do some really great things.”
At just about every UConn soccer game, there are many fans who show up and show support for the Huskies, among them is UConn’s student-fan group, “The Goal Patrol,” and for them, Alvarez is immensely grateful.
“The community there is unreal,” Alvarez said. “They treat soccer the same way they’d treat basketball or any other sport. It’s amazing how they do so much as a community...The fans really enjoy coming out to games and are such a great support to me and all of the other players.”
Alvarez played his high school soccer at Bishop Mora Salesian in Los Angeles, California, just under 19 miles north of the Chivas USA playing ground in Carson, California. For Alvarez, playing for Chivas is a bit of a homecoming and is something that he’s really looking forward to.
"Going back home is something I always wished and dreamed about," Alvarez said. "I'm so excited that the organization chose to believe in me and I'm ready to go out and show them what I can do on the field."
Chivas USA finished last in the Western Conference this past season, finishing with just 30 points. The club finished with the second fewest points in the league. Alvarez is headed to a team that needs some help and he is ready to go to Los Angeles and provide it.
“I just have to get ready because there are so many good players in that league,” Alvarez said. “I need to keep learning and I can’t take anything for granted. The club has a lot of talent and I have to go learn from those guys...You always show respect for the jersey that you wear.”
Most importantly, Alvarez is ready to play soccer, the game he loves so much.
“I have so much fun playing soccer and it just takes me out of the world,” Alvarez said. “I owe everything to my parents, my coaching, my friends and my teammates.”