Efrain Alvarez hopes U.S. Open Cup goals get him noticed by Mexico's Martino
L.A. Galaxy youngster and Mexico U-17 international Efrain Alvarez has it clear in his mind that he would like to one day play for Mexico under Gerardo "Tata" Martino.
The 16-year-old scored twice to help the Galaxy to a 3-0 win over Orange County FC on Wednesday night in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup. He successfully converted a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box for the first goal and added his second in the 61st minute.
Up next for the Galaxy in Cup play will be in the Portland Timbers after the round-of-16 draw was held on Thursday. The next round will be played June 18-23. The final fourth-round clash, Atlanta United vs. Charleston Battery, was rescheduled for Thursday night (7 p.m. ET on ESPN+). The rest of the round-of-16 draw features Orlando at New England, NYCFC at D.C. United, Atlanta or Charleston at Columbus, Cincinnati at St. Louis, Minnesota at Houston, New Mexico at Dallas and San Jose at LAFC.
Alvarez said he is looking forward to showing coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto what he is capable of, especially with the hope that it will get him noticed for El Tri.
"I tried to do the best for the team, like I always do and we got the result," Alvarez said. "I'm happy with that. We trained that [free kick] yesterday and I knew exactly what we were going to do and I just tried to score."
Alvarez is still eligible for the United States, but has made his allegiance clear.
"Who doesn't want to be in the national team? If one day Tata [Martino] or whoever is there at that time gives me the opportunity, I'll be available and really happy."
Mexico are training on LA Galaxy grounds in preparation for the upcoming Gold Cup, which could give Martino an opportunity to see Alvarez first-hand.
"I will say it again: Who would not want to be called up to El Tri? It is now my job to work hard each day and if one day Tata gives me a chance, what could be better?" said Alvarez, who was born in nearby East Los Angeles to Mexican parents and thus has dual citizenship.