"Changed" LA Galaxy Homegrown standout Efrain Alvarez lauded for first MLS goal

It’s been a long time coming for Efrain Alvarez, who calls his first MLS goal a culmination of the hard work he’s been putting in for the LA Galaxy.

“I’m super happy right now. Just getting the start was something that I’ve been working toward for a while, talking to the staff and working hard every day is something I’ve been pushing for,” Alvarez said after the LA Galaxy’s 3-2 win over the Portland Timbers. "Getting my first MLS goal is something I’ve been looking for all of last year, as well, so it’s something I work hard for and I’m happy, but I’m also happy for the team and I’m just keeping focused on winning.”

The 18-year-old Homegrown standout changed his habits during his time in quarantine ahead of the MLS is Back Tournament. Alvarez is now reaping those rewards.

“I think he is a talented player. He has a lot of qualities, but he can’t use them if he’s unfit, or unfocused,” Galaxy coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said. “I think in the last two to three months, he has changed. We were talking about that and he had to give the first step. And then he did. And now he is showing everything he has inside. Today he scored a beautiful goal because he [placed the ball where he wanted]. It was magnificent. I am very happy for him.”

Alvarez said the key to scoring the goal was reading the play as it developed.

“Whenever we play, we find spaces and we know where each other is going to move, so I started reading the play, Sebastian started making the run, Julian started making the run, so everyone builds the play and we were right there at the right time, so that was the key part,” Alvarez said.

Sebastian Lletget was equally impressed with the goal and the immense potential Alvarez has.

“It was good to be part of it. Great finish. Great control. He’s a great talent, and I’ll always say it: he’s got so much raw talent and he can take it anywhere he wants,” Lletget said. “I’m really happy for him and hope he keeps it going.”