Chivas' Chelis: I've made my choice for No. 2 draft pick
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – New Chivas USA manager José Luis Sánchez Solá – a.k.a. "El Chelís" – doesn't follow scripts.
In a Monday afternoon interview with FutbolMLS.com at the MLS coaches' hotel here, Chelís revealed the name of the player he will select with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday (noon ET, MLSsoccer.com, ESPN3.com, YouTube.com).
"Alvarez," he said when asked which player he was planning to take with Chivas USA's only selection in the SuperDraft. The last name belongs to the 2012 Big East Midfielder of the Year Carlos Alvarez (read his bio and scouting report here).
The selection should come as little surprise given that Alvarez's father played for Chivas Guadalajara. The East LA native also declared that he wanted to play for Chivas USA over the weekend.
WATCH: Alvarez scores at the Player Combine
But Chelís is not just a romantic in looking out for the roots of the club. He also sees the special qualities in Alvarez that made him a star at the University of Connecticut and the standout of the first day at the Player Combine on Friday.
"Has his head up," Chelís said. "And before he receives the ball, he knows what he's going to do with it. He goes forward. He's young. He's Mexican-American. From Los Angeles. His dad played for Chivas.
"But hopefully, even with all this, he can compete with the other 29 because Major League Soccer is totally different from college. Totally different."
Chelís was clear that he sees Alvarez as a No. 10 in MLS. Although he was asked to play as a support forward in both Combine matches, Chivas USA will not be utilizing the 22-year-old in that position.
"[On Sunday], I didn't like him because they put him as a second forward," Chelís said. "I don't like him there. He is a player that can play in the middle pushing forward. How often can he recover the ball and how often is he going to have that attitude to always go forward starting from deep? Back to goal, he can't play. Putting him on the last line with the forward is very difficult.
"He's a player that should have the ball at his feet with the entire field in front of him," continued Chelís. "He's someone who has game and it's tough to find a player who understands the game. ... He's young, but I like him."
The UConn playmaker is already signed to an MLS contract, part of a class of five college seniors who were offered contracts well ahead of Thursday's SuperDraft.
The Alvarez selection falls in line with a tweet by Chelís over the weekend in which he said "Chivas need Mexico-American young players."