The 2011 season was a difficult one for Arturo Alvarez. The Salvadoran international had his most disappointing campaign to date, making only 16 appearances with Real Salt Lake and notching just a single assist.
After such a trying year, Alvarez returned home to his native Houston and is busy planning his next move to ensure that 2012 will be his finest year yet.
Currently out of contract with MLS, Alvarez’s rights are held by Chivas USA, who selected the 26-year-old forward in the first stage of the Re-Entry Draft on Dec. 5. Although MLS remains an option, Alvarez will head across the Atlantic at the start of the New Year in search of a contract in Europe.
“I’m at the right age to do it and I have a lot of years of experience playing in MLS because they gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream of being a professional soccer player,” Alvarez MLSsoccer.com by phone on Thursday. “I’m always thankful for that, but I want to go and explore something different.
“There are a few options in Spain and, earlier, I had an option in Germany,” Alvarez added. “There are agents that are trying to help me out to put me places, but at this moment, nothing is concrete. I’m going to go on trial, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
If his pursuit of a European deal proves unsuccessful, Alvarez admits he is ready to join Chivas USA, who open preseason camp on Jan. 16.
Chivas head coach Robin Fraser has been publically supportive of Alvarez’s ambitions. However, he told MLSsoccer.com earlier in the week that the club will eventually need an answer on Alvarez’s status for 2012.
“People like Robin have supported my decision and that’s something that I really appreciate,” said Alvarez, who expects to take the entire month of January to find a club in Europe. “If [finding a team doesn’t work out], then I would come and play for Chivas USA – that would be great. The thing is that there are options out there and I just want to make sure that I make the right one.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.