It is fair to say that Guillermo Barros Schelotto has been round the block. The LA Galaxy boss has, after all, played and managed in both Mexico and the US of A. He was a steady professional, he even managed to obtain 10 caps for Argentina. So, let’s say he knows his stuff.
But this tale isn’t supposed to be focusing on the Galaxy coach (although it is a point of interest to note that his twin brother, Gustavo, is his assistant at the club). It’s all about teen sensation Efrain Alvarez, the 16-year-old attacker who has just hit his first two goals for the club to help them get into the fifth round of the US Open Cup with a 3-0 over Orange County FC at the Dignity Health Sports Park Track and Field Stadium.
But Barros Schelotto has a part to play in this incredible story of a boy wonder who has the ball, and the world, firmly at his feet. After seeing the starlet bag a brace, the coach said of the talented teen:
“The two goals were very important to him. He played really good in the second half even though he’s just 16. The future will be great if he keeps working and keeps open to learn. This was a very important game for him in so many ways.”
The goals came for the protege in the 56th minute, when he hit home a free kick from just outside the 18-yard area, and again five minutes later. Speaking about his two-goal haul and the technique he showed to convert the free-kick, the youngster said:
“This was my best moment here at the LA Galaxy. I can’t explain how happy I am to get the first goal, but I’m happier that we qualified for the next round. I tried to do the best for the team, like I always do and we got the result. I’m happy with that. We trained that free-kick the day before the game and I knew exactly what we were going to do and I just tried to score.”
It was a day that Alvarez hit the headlines but the plucky exploits of the vanquished gave Galaxy defender Daniel Steres the chance to pay tribute to the Orange County FC efforts. He enthused:
“They were pretty organized in the first half and we weren’t clinical enough. They had a good run they beat two USL teams, all the credit to them, but the guys came out and did what we were supposed to do in the second half. I know how these games go. You never want to be the team that goes down to a team like that, but they put in a good effort and put us through a good game and I’m glad we took care of it.”