Two LA Galaxy academy standouts are playing real well with the second team so far in 2018. Can this be the start of something big?
There are two academy products that look destined to play regular minutes in Major League Soccer in the near future. These two up-and-coming youngsters are 15-year-old Efrain Alvarez and Corona native Ethan Zubak.
LA Galaxy Academy Products Thriving
Efrain Alvarez became the youngest to ever play in a United Soccer League match. Alvarez made his debut coming off the bench in a 3-2 win over the Portland Timbers 2 on October 7, 2017. However, that was just the beginning of something real special.
So far during the 2018 USL season, Alvarez has scored four times in four appearances with the second team. Alvarez’ latest feat came in the 6-3 whopping of St. Louis FC last Wednesday night. The Los Angeles kid scored hattrick, his first as a professional.
The goals that Alvarez added to his tally were not tap-ins or off a scrambled St. Louis defense. His attempts were all well taken, especially his second goal.
Not to be outdone, Ethan Zubak also notched three of his own goals in Los Dos’ last match. Despite his three-goal performance, Zubak does not score a ton. In fact, during his previous two seasons of USL action, the 20-year-old has scored a grand total of six goals.
Head Coach Mike Muñoz had this to say about his two young guns following their first win of the season: “I’m proud of [Ethan] Zubak who’s an academy product, proud of Efra [Alvarez] who’s an academy product. Both of those guys have been working so hard up top together. They are really forging a good relationship on both sides of the ball. They got exactly what they deserved. I don’t know if two hat tricks has ever happened before, so it’s pretty cool especially in front of our fans.”
What makes these products stand out
With that said then, what makes this youngster special? One of the best qualities about Zubak is his off the ball movement. Take a look at this goal from the St. Louis match. He starts from the left and chases down a long ball over the top. Zubak beats a defender and continues running into space before slotting it with ease past the STLFC goalkeeper.
The other aspect that makes Zubak great is that he is more willing to get his teammates involved. Think of Zubak as one of the maestros of the squad, wanting to get everything moving further up the pitch.
Many Galaxy fans will probably not put too much hope into any of the academy products with the recent lack of success. But could Efrain Alvarez and Ethan Zubak be the duo that changes the academy’s fortunes around?