Commentary

Galaxy kid scores four and assists twice for U.S. U-15s on Argentina trip

By Mike Woitalla

Efrain Alvarez, who turns 14 in June, opened the scoring in the U.S. U-15 national team's 2-0 win over Uruguay after his hat trick and two assists in a 5-1 win over Argentine club Club Atletico Talleres during the team's Argentina training camp. Giovanni Reyna, son of U.S. Hall of Famer Claudio Reyna, scored the USA's second goal against Uruguay.

The trip marked first event since the appointment of Dave van den Bergh as head coach of the U.S. U-15 boys (2002s), who also tied, 2-2, with Newell’s Old Boys after goals by Marco Ceja (Central CA Aztecs) and Cade Hagan (LA Galaxy) gave the USA fleeting leads

Alvarez has scored 19 goals in 15 games in the 2015-16 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season for the Galaxy's U-14 team and two goals in six appearances for its U-16s. He moved from Chivas USA, along with academy coach Brian Kleiban, to the Galaxy after Chivas USA folded.


Efrain Alvarez

Efrain Alvarez is the younger brother of Carlos Alvarez, the second overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft by Chivas USA out of UConn. Carlos Alvarez played 50 games in his first two MLS seasons with Chivas USA and Colorado. He was USL expansion club San Antonio FC's first signing last January.


Photo courtesy U.S. Soccer

April 8 in  Rosario, Argentina
USA 2 Uruguay 0.  Goals: Alvarez 29, Reyna 38.
USA -- Las; Stroud (Fuentes, 36), O’Connor, Alejandre, Bello; Goeggel, Maunsell (Busio, 43), Alvarez (Atanda, 64); Reyna (Kelii, 64), Hagan (Ceja, 55), Gaines (Zuniga, 55).
Uruguay -- Mernes; Barreto, Gonzalez (Bartora, 46), Fernandez, Guisolfo; Patron, Gutierrez, Pereyra, Arezo; Disabella (Gonzalez, 40), Pereira.

April 6 in Rosario, Argentina
Newell’s Old Boys  2 USA  2. Goals: Tolles  44, Ramos 70; Ceja  35, Hagan 66.
USA -- Oladapo; Fuentes (Stroud, 68), Alejandre, O’Connor (Atanda, 53), Bello; Goeggel, Busio, Alvarez (Kelii, 41); Imperato (Maunsell, 43), Ceja (Hagan, 43), Reyna.

April 4 in Rosario, Argentina
Talleres 1 USA 5. Goals: Namani 3; Alvarez  29,  Bello (Alvarez) 34, Alvarez 35, Hagan (Alvarez) 39, Alvarez 41.
USA -- Las; Stroud, Atanda, Alejandre (O’Connor, 43), Bello; Goeggel (Ceja, 46), Maunsell, Alvarez (Imperato, 43); Gaines (Busio, 46), Hagan, Kelii (Zuniga, 46).

U.S. U-15 boys national team roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Damian Las (Chicago Magic; Norridge, Ill.), Kashope Oladapo (Portland Timbers; Happy Valley, Ore.).
DEFENDERS (8): Axel Alejandre (Chicago Fire North; Chicago, Ill.), Noah Atanda (Bethesda Olney; Olney, Md.), George Bello (Ambush; Douglasville, Ga.), James Crath (Houston Dynamo; Houston, Texas), Max Goeggel (Ballistic United; San Francisco, Calif.), Jake O'Connor (CASL; Cary, N.C.), Peter Stroud (New York Red Bulls; Chester, N.J.), Juan Zuniga (Storm; Bluffton, S.C.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Efrain Alvarez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Gianluca Busio (North Carolina Fusion; Greensboro, N.C.), Gilbert Fuentes (Ballistic United; Tracy, Calif.), Cade Hagan (LA Galaxy; Naperville, Ill.), Jack Imperato (De Anza Force; San Jose, Calif.), Mikey Maunsell (Oakwood; Oxford, Conn.).
FORWARDS (4): Marco Ceja (Central CA Aztecs; Bakersfield, Calif.), Julian Gaines (Lonestar Soccer Club; Austin, Texas), Kanoa Kelii (Maui United; Waianae, Hawaii), Giovanni Reyna (NYCFC; Bedford, N.Y.).

* * * * * * * * * *

U.S. U-17 boys to face Canada twice

The U.S. U-17 boys national team will play a pair of friendlies against Canada April 15 and 17 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Coach John Hackworth’s roster for the games is comprised of the players attending U.S. Soccer’s 2016 Spring Residency program in Bradenton, Florida.

Last month the U-17s won the 44th Mondial Football de Montaigu Tournament with a 3-2 win over host France 3-2

U.S. U-17 boys national team
GOALKEEPERS (4): Alexander Budnik (Sockers FC; Arlington Heights, Ill.), Justin Garces (Kendall FC; Miami, Fla.), Quantrell Jones (Baltimore Celtic; Baltimore, Md.), Hunter Pinho (PDA; Cranford, N.J.).
DEFENDERS (9): Carlos Asensio (Roswell, Ga.; Georgia United), Michael Edwards (Woodbridge, Va.; D.C. United), Tyler Freitas (North Attleboro, Mass; New England Revolution), Jean-Julian Foe Nuphaus (San Jose, Calif.; San Jose Earthquakes), Christopher Gloster (Montclair, N.J.; New York Red Bulls), Benjamin Huynh (Seattle Sounders; Everett, Wash.), Ian Murphy (Redlands, Calif.; FC Golden State), Tyler Shaver (Riverside, Conn.; Beachside Soccer Club), Chandler Vaughn (D.C. United; Woodbridge, Va.).
MIDFIELDERS (11): George Acosta (Weston FC; Hollywood, Fla.), Patrick Ajdukiewicz (Sockers FC; Barrington, Ill.), Isaac Angking (Providence, R.I.; New England Revolution), Christopher Durkin (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.), Blaine Ferri (Solar Chelsea SC; Southlake, Texas), Christopher Goslin (Georgia United; Locust Grove, Ga.), Ben Lederman (Barcelona, Spain; IMG Academy), James Sands (New York Soccer Club; Rye, N.Y.), Arturo Vasquez (FC Golden State; Mira Loma, Calif.), Adrian Villegas (Portland Timbers; Hood River, Ore.), Akil Watts (Fort Wayne, Ind.; IMG Academy).
FORWARDS (8): Ayomide Akinola (Toronto FC; Brampton, Ont.), Andrew Carleton (Georgia United; Powder Springs, Ga.), Zyen Jones (Clarkston, Ga.; Georgia United), Niccolo Lemoine (Livermore, Calif.; De Anza Force), Alejandro Pereira (Oveido, Fla.; Orlando City FC), William Sands (Rye, N.Y.; New York Soccer Club), Joshua Sargent (Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallen, Mo.), Tonny Temple (IMG Academy; Millville, Pa.).

7 comments about "Galaxy kid scores four and assists twice for U.S. U-15s on Argentina trip".
  1. Ric Fonseca, April 12, 2016 at 3:43 p.m.

    Looks good for the U15's and good luck to the U17's. In danger of making this sound like sour grapes, and unless I've miscounted, the U15's have six (6) from California, while the much larger U17's I
    counted a paltry four (4) players from the Golden State! Wonder what's going on with players selection in the U17s??? Also, in more danger of sour grapes, I see Claudio Reyna's kid is also on the team, so does this mean that one can only make it to a team if one is related to a former or current national team coach/player/ or whatever? How does one spell favoritism?

  2. Ginger Peeler replied, April 13, 2016 at 1:11 a.m.

    "Coach John Hackworth’s roster for the games is comprised of the players attending U.S. Soccer’s 2016 Spring Residency program in Bradenton, Florida." Perhaps that explains the fewer Californians on the roster?

  3. BJ Genovese, April 12, 2016 at 5:11 p.m.

    Yay! More nepotism in US soccer. Just what we need...

  4. Ginger Peeler, April 12, 2016 at 9:16 p.m.

    Oh, c'mon. Reyna's son is on the team because he's a good player. I haven't seen him, but maybe he's got that same body type as his dad. Certainly, he probably has Claudio as his coach early one, so he knows, maybe understands the game much better than the kids who did not grow up in such a soccer nourishing environment. My dad was a phenomenal athlete, but very short,
    5' 2-1/2". He was a diver and a tumbler (now called gymnastics) for the University of California. In the 30s, he was named West Coast Tumbling Champion. Back then, you got a medal and that was it. He qualified for the Olympics, but Hitler had come into power and they either weren't held or the USA didn't participate. While I turned out to be a klutz, my older sister inherited the phenomenon...at 9, when skiing for the very first time in Germany, where my dad was stationed, the ski instructors were begging my folks to leave her to train with them because she was so good. Same thing her first time on ice skates. When she was older, she ended up riding on somebody's shoulders the first time she ever waterskied. Of course she was head cheerleader at high school!!! We were blessed with high IQs and she got the sports body DNA. My son, like me, was kind of a klutz, but he had the soccer brain. Never the biggest, strongest or fastest, but you knew he was always going to take care of the ball. My daughter was identified as gifted and she got her share of that DNA from my father, not phenomenal, but very, very good. So, can't we say that Claudio Reyna's son is on that team due to both nurture and nature?

  5. Right Winger, April 12, 2016 at 10:07 p.m.

    I don't know anything about the u17's but the u15's have a ton of talent. As they mature it will only get better. Some of the kids are at the in between stage in physical development but when it all comes together it will be very interesting. Ric sounds like you got a burr under your saddle partner. I don't care if 7 are from the US side of the moon just send the best talent you have and van der berg has done that. Let them play. Let them develop I believe it will be a good ride.

  6. Ric Fonseca replied, April 13, 2016 at 2:15 p.m.

    Fanfor, nope, I ain't got no burr under no saddle, pardner, as I don't ride, tho' you failed to see my point, and that is that the "distribution" or "selection" of players tends to favor certain areas. specifically largely east of the Continental Divide. I miscounted those from the far-far wild-west, as I forgot to include the few from the Pacific Northwest. I am NOT bad talking the U15's but I do hope, pray and sincerely hope that they continue to do well and are noticed by others, and not discard them after a couple of years, somewhat as AA indicates. I am particularly concerned about the imbalance of talent NOT selected west of the Continental Divide, or the Rockies, or the mighty Mississippi or Missouri rivers.

  7. BJ Genovese, April 13, 2016 at 7:24 p.m.

    NEPOTISM... the sport is littered with it. If its ok at the highest levels then why not everyone do it... right. This is a big country with losta talent. When I see peoples kids being picked... I only see problems within the system. Im sure the kids great. But im also sure there are better...

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