CARSON, Calif. – Argentinian midfielder Favio Alvarez, the latest and newest member of the LA Galaxy, said he was thankful for the opportunity to play for the five-time MLS Cup champions.
The only problem is he may have to wait a bit longer do to it
“I don’t think everything’s in,” he told reporters through an interpreter after training Friday, “so they were going to wait until later in the day to see if I’m available to play.”
The Galaxy acquired him on loan from Atletico Tucuman in Argentina’s Primera Division through the use of targeted allocation money. The 26-year-old began his professional career in 2010 with Argentinian side Talleres de Cordoba and eventually joined Atletico Tucuman in August of 2016. Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto became familiar with him during his time as head coach of Argentinian powerhouse Boca Juniors and called Alvarez “the kind of player we need to bring to the team.”
“He is very good with the last pass, and he manages the game well,” Schelotto said. “I like him. He’s a good professional, a good player who can help us.”
Alvarez said the Galaxy first contacted him about a month ago and admitted having Barros Schelotto as head coach of Los Angeles spurred his interest in not only joining the Galaxy but playing outside of Argentina for the first time in his career.
“I think it helped a lot,” he said of Schelotto’s presence. “In Argentina, I faced him when he was at Boca as head coach. Of course, it had a lot of influence in me coming here.”
He said he views playing in Major League Soccer as a chance to help him reach his goals as a professional.
“The first is to show myself here and achieve great things with the club,” he said. “I try to live in the present and give my best, and we’ll see about tomorrow.”
Alvarez also said he takes pride in his versatility – “I can play any position from the midfield upward,” he said – and plans on doing everything he can to help a team that is coming off a winless, two-game road trip.
And if he is asked to play Saturday, he said he would be ready.
“Physically, I feel great,” he said. “In Argentina, the season is going, and I was training the whole time. The only day I didn’t train was when I traveled.
“If I have the opportunity to play, then I’m ready.”
Dos Santos, who left after 41 minutes in the 3-1 defeat, might be available to play against New York City. Schelotto said he will determine dos Santos’ status early Saturday and then decide if he should be held out.
“Today he felt better,” he said of dos Santos, who watched training Friday but did not participate and appeared to walk without any discomfort. “He hopes to be ready for tomorrow and will try.”
The news, unfortunately, wasn’t as good for right back Rolf Feltscher, who will miss this weekend’s game because of a toe injury in his right foot. Schelotto said Feltscher suffered the injury during the Galaxy’s 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake on April 28 and tried to play through it in a loss to New York Red Bulls on May 4 and the setback in Columbus.
Julian Araujo, a 17-year-old who already has two starts and four appearances to his credit this season, is the likely choice to replace Feltscher in the starting lineup.
“We‘ve practiced with him since the preseason,” Schelotto said of Araujo, “so he’s ready.”
Araujo, by the way, surprisingly was left off the U.S. U-20 roster for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will be held May 23 to June 15 in Poland.
“For us, it’s good news,” Schelotto said of U-20 head coach Tab Ramos’ decision to not include the promising Lompoc native among his squad’s 21 players. “He can keep growing.”