While it may sound strange, especially to Portland and Vancouver supporters, one could argue that it was Real Salt Lake that came out the winner of the MLS Expansion Draft in November, thanks in large part to the addition of eight-year MLS veteran Arturo Alvarez. The RSL braintrust took advantage of what was described as a “30-second window” of opportunity towards the end of the draft to claim Alvarez, agreeing to a trade with Portland that sent a second round 2011 SuperDraft pick to the Timbers in exchange for the El Salvadoran international. In the process, Real Salt Lake not only picked up a valuable cog for its already League-pacing offense, but it brought on board a long-sought after player that had been a consistent thorn in the side of the Claret-and-Cobalt over the years.
Described as possessing a “disruptive presence … in a good way” by RSL General Manager Garth Lagerwey, the 25-year-old Alvarez brings confident 1-v-1 abilities and a wicked left-footed strike to the team, all but rounding out the Utah side’s potent offensive attack. Whether he lines up on the left side of the patented midfield diamond or forms a potent strike-force partnership with Alvaro Saborio, the sky is the limit for Alvarez, who will look to bring glory to both club and country in 2011 after helping El Salvador’s National Team qualify for this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup this past January.
2010 (SJ): Registered four goals and three assists in 23 contests (12 starts; 1,339 minutes) across regular season, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and MLS Cup Playoff action … Went full 90 minutes on 3/27 v. RSL in season opening 0-3 defeat at Buck Shaw Stadium … Had an up-and-down 60-minute stint on 4/14 v. RSL in a U.S. Open Cup qualifier, coming on at the hour mark and notching an equalizing goal (88’) and go-ahead assist (Morrow, 103’) in a 3-3 draw (OT) before missing the ‘Quakes opening penalty kick in a 3-5 PK defeat … Hit paydirt on one of his five shots on 4/10 @ CHI, his 49’ tally opening the scoring in a 2-1 road victory … Missed five games across April and May due to a left hamstring strain, returning to the field off the bench on 5/29 vs. TOR as a halftime sub at right midfield … His early equalizer (6’) on 6/02 v. CLB helped SJ earn a 2-2 draw … Helped San Jose take full three points from first visit to PPL Park on 7/10 @ PHI, his 91’ tally resulting in a 2-1 road triumph … Broke Union’s hearts again on 9/15 v. PHI, notching lone assist of season in MLS play on Chris Wondolowski’s 69th minute goal in the 1-0 win … Equaled season-high mark of five shots and put season-high three shots on frame on 10/20 v. CHV during a 3-0 win in the Earthquakes’ home finale … Appeared in all three of ‘Quakes contests in the Eastern Conference bracket of the MLS Cup Playoffs off the substitutes’ bench … First postseason appearance in three years came via a 21-minute stint on 10/30 v. NY in a 0-1 defeat in Leg One of the Eastern Conf. Semifinal Series … Helped produce the shock result of the MLS postseason on 11/04 @ NY, entering in the 75th minute and providing through ball on Bobby Convey’s eventual game-winner a minute later in a 3-1 win at Red Bull Arena that lifted the ‘Quakes to a 3-2 aggregate series win … Took pair of shots in 33-minute run off the bench on 11/13 @ COL in a 0-1 defeat in the Eastern Conference Championship at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
2009 (SJ): Appeared in 23 games with five goals and two assists … Made 2009 debut on 3/21 vs. NE, playing the full 90 minutes … Scored first goal of the season and added first assist on 3/28 vs. HOU … Converted a penalty kick for a goal on 4/11 vs. CHI … Scored game-winning goal in 63rd minute on 5/30 vs. RSL and received yellow card … Scored goal for the second straight game in the 82nd minute on 6/7 at DAL … DNP – 6/20 vs. LA due to groin strain … Scored fifth goal of season on 7/3 at RSL … Notched second assist of the season 7/11 vs. TFC and received a yellow card ... DNP – on 7/25 vs. DC and on 8/2 vs. SEA due to hamstring strain … Came back from injury as second half sub on 8/8 vs. CLB … DNP – 9/18 vs. COL due to hamstring strain … Came on as a substitute at halftime on 9/27 at DC … Started and played full 90 against NY on 10/3 … DNP – 10/7 vs. and 10/10 at TFC due to WCQ with El Salvador ... Started and played 73 minutes at CHV on 10/17 ... Open Cup: Came on as a sub in the 83rd minute on 4/29 vs. NY.
2008: Played in 28 games on the season with both SJ and DAL … Started 10 of 16 games with DAL and scored three goals and notched three assists … Netted a goal and notched an assist on 4/6 at HOU (w/DAL) … Registered goal vs. NY on 4/12 (w/DAL) … Notched assist on 4/20 at CHV (w/DAL) … Scored goal on 6/6 at NE (w/DAL) … Recorded assist on 7/27 vs. LA (w/DAL) … Played all 12 games for the Earthquakes after arriving from FC Dallas and ended the season with three goals and three assists for the Quakes … Scored first SJ goal of the season on 8/3 vs. LA … Started and played 63 minutes on 8/16 vs. NE … Netted second goal for SJ on 8/30 vs. KC … Scored his third goal of the season for SJ on 9/6 vs. D.C. United ... Recorded assist on 9/13 vs. HOU … Notched assist on 9/27 vs. RSL … Recorded assist on 10/18 at KC … Exhibition: DNP – 7/15 vs. Honduras Olympic Team, 9/2 vs. Seattle Sounders or 10/2 vs. CD FAS.
2007 (SJ/DAL): Played in 34 of the 37 games in all competitions … Scored eight goals in all competitions, tying him with Abe Thompson and Juan Toja for second on the team … Set new regular season career highs in games played, games started, and minutes … Converted winning penalty kick in USOC victory over Atlanta Silverbacks (USL-D1) on 7/9 to help DAL advance to quarterfinals … Scored first-ever SuperLiga goal in the 56th minute in a tie vs. Chivas de Guadalajara on 7/24 … Finished with three SuperLiga goals, leading the team and finishing second in the tournament … Scored game-winning goal in U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals versus Charleston Battery on 8/7 … Also scored in U.S. Open Cup Final vs. New England on 10/3 … On 10/6 vs. CLB, scored a critical goal to give FCD a come-from-behind victory and clinch a playoff berth.
2006 (DAL): Appeared in 19 of DAL's 32 regular season games, tallying three goals and one assist … Scored the team's first (vs. CHI on 4/1) and last goals (vs. LA on 10/14) of the regular season … Scored the game-winning goal against HOU on 9/2 … also scored the game-winner against partner club Tigres on 7/19.
2005 (DAL): Played in 25 and started 15 matches … Made Dallas debut on 4/30 vs. LA … Scored his first goal with FC Dallas on 7/2 vs. SJ.
2004 (SJ): Appeared in 11 matches with San Jose, making two starts … Scored the game-winning goal on 4/17 at NE as second-half sub.
2003 (SJ): Started five of 15 games in rookie season with San Jose … Made MLS debut on 4/19 vs. KC … Made first start on 6/14 at DAL, scoring first MLS goal and notching first MLS assist.
El Salvadoran National Team (Senior): After growing up in U.S. Youth National Team system, Alvarez, the son of El Salvadoran parents, joined La Selecta’s Senior National Team under the direction of coach Carlos de los Cabos in 2009 … Has notched 14 “caps” for the squad since making his debut on 8/12/09 @ Trinidad & Tobago in a 0-1 WCQ defeat in Port-of-Spain … Started in four of El Salvador’s five matches during the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana in Panama City in January 2011, helping the squad to a fourth-place finish and one of five Central American slots in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States in June … Logged 295 minutes of action over a 10-day span across the five appearances … Made lone substitute appearance in the tournament in the 3rd place match on 1/23/11 v. host Panama, playing final 19 minutes in a scoreless draw that the hosts won 5-4 in penalties … Started on 1/14 v. Nicaragua (2-0 W), the Gold Cup-clinching win on 1/16 v. Belize (5-2 W), 1/18 v. Panama (0-2 L), and 1/21 v. Honduras in the Semifinals (0-2 L) … Appeared in five of El Salvador’s six contests during the Final Round of CONCACAF region qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup across 2009 … Those appearances included the first international contest at Rio Tinto Stadium on 9/05/09 v. USA, when he started and played 50 minutes in a 1-2 defeat for La Selecta … U.S. Under-23 National Team: Participated in U.S. U-23 camps in preparation for Olympic qualifying in early 2008 … Took part in U.S. U-23 camp in December 2007, playing two friendlies against the Chinese U-23 National Team in China … Took part in a U.S. U-23 camp in February 2006 and played in two games in Japan … Represented the U.S. U-20 in preparation games for the FIFA World Youth Championships in 2005 …Was named to the U.S. U-20 20-man roster that was to compete in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates, however a groin injury prevented him from playing and he was replaced on the roster at the last hour by Freddy Adu ... Played in 11 matches for U-20 U.S. National Team in 2004, scoring one goal and registering three assists ... Notched his first goal with the U-20s when he scored the game-winner against Norway in the Madeira International Tournament in Spain in March 2003 … Was the leading scorer for U-18 team in 2002 with seven goals and one assist … Also a regular on the U-17 and U-18 teams.
Attended and led St. Thomas High School to the state finals as a sophomore, before transferring to Mayde Creek High School, where he played his junior and senior years … Led Bear Creek United to Regional Finals in 2002 … Was on the Regional III ODP team.
Grew up in Houston … At 16, tried out with Bordeaux of the France First Division, but turned down offers in order to sign a Project-40 offer from Major League Soccer … Listens to all music, but considers house music such as DJ Tieso as his most listened to … Is a fan of the TV show Entourage … Both parents are originally from El Salvador.