Carlos Alvarez
USA Today Sports

Chivas USA midfielder Carlos Alvarez responds to recent two-game ban: "It hurt me"

CARSON, Calif. — A struggling Chivas USA team that’s been desperately looking for a boost will regain an important player Saturday (9 pm ET, watch on MLS Live) when rookie midfielder Carlos Alvarez returns from a two-match suspension.

The MLS Disciplinary Committee suspended and fined Alvarez for his actions during the 4-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City on May 5. In the 73rd minute of that match, Alvarez kicked the ball toward opponent Peterson Joseph's head from close range. Joseph was defenseless while on the ground.

“I saw [the replay] a couple of times and, to be honest, I thought it was an unfair call,” Alvarez told “I honestly didn’t hear the whistle. It hurt me, but we couldn’t do anything about it. I respected the decision and now we have to keep moving forward.”

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Chivas USA lost 3-0 to Portland and 4-1 to Real Salt Lake in Alvarez’s absence, and are in a tailspin, having dropped five of their past six matches.

“It was tough because, obviously, you want to help your team and you want to be there for the guys,” Alvarez said. “It’s like a brotherhood and a family here. You want to get the results, get better each day, be better as a team and be at the top of the table. It was a lesson I learned and hopefully it doesn’t happen again.”

Head coach José Luis “El Chelís” Sánchez Solá liked what he saw from Alvarez in this week’s reserve league victory against Real Salt Lake.

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“With him we can possess the ball more,” Chelís told “In the reserve league match on Monday, he showed us something we can try. He helped us a lot.”

Alvarez, 22, scored his lone goal of the season on March 17 to give the Goats a thrilling draw against the LA Galaxy. He was analytical during his two weeks away from competition.

“We haven’t been finishing; that’s the problem [and] it needs to get better,” Alvarez said. “Hopefully I can do that, keep working harder and everything is going to get fixed to how it was before. … That little bite everyone had; everyone wanted to win. That little spark, this whole week everyone had it. Hopefully that carries onto the field.”