Evening Edition: What's in the news ...

1. The Efra Alvarez sweepstakes is very much on everyone's mind following his sensational debut for the LA Galaxy. ESPN's Herculez Gomez reported that the Mexican federation is putting on a "full-court press" to get Alvarez, who is playing for Mexico's U-17s after switching from the U.S. U-15s, to be permanently tied to El Tri. That's only possible if Alvarez plays for Mexico's senior team in a competitive match. That first opportunity to make Alvarez available for selection will come at the 2019 Gold Cup, though Gomez said it was very much up in the air which team he will play for, given Alvarez's ties to Southern California (which include his friendship with U.S. U-20 stars Alex Mendez and Uly Llanez).

2. NWSLPA president Yael Averbuch will now function as the union’s executive director. The move follows her decision to not return to the Reign FC in 2019 for preseason training due to ongoing health issues. Averbuch, capped 26 times for the USA, played all three years in WPS and the last five seasons in the NWSL after spending 2013 in Sweden. She was recently elected to U.S. Soccer's Athlete Council.

3. Lakeland, Florida, is considering plans for an $8 million downtown soccer stadium that would seat 3,500 fans. The stadium, which could be used for other sporting events and concerts, is viewed as a hub for redevelopment efforts in the downtown area. The project is supported by the Lakeland Tropics of USL League Two. Lakeland is a city of 100,000 situated east of Tampa. It's been the spring training home of the baseball Tigers for 83 years.
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