Earlier this week Dwain Capodice of MLSsoccer.com MLSSoccer.com reported that Cuban midfielder Yordany Alvarez has been training with the Houston Dynamo as part of a trial.
Alvarez, a member of Cuba's U-23 national team gained some notoriety in 2008 when he and members of Cuba's team defected during the 2008 CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in Florida. After defecting, the young midfielder went on a trial with the Los Angeles Galaxy before signing a deal with the second-division Austin Aztex.
It was Alvarez' time with the Aztex that caught Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear's attention. "We played Austin in the preseason and then went up and saw them against Montreal in the playoffs. We circled some names that we thought were pretty good players and, speaking with the coach, there was an opportunity to bring him in."
According to the Austin Aztex website, Alvarez scored two goals and five assists in the team's 2010 campaign. Interestingly enough, Alvarez also led the team in fouls (60) and yellow cards (7). The 25-year-old weighs in at 166 pounds, is only 5'10" and typically plays in the center of the midfield (in either attacking or defending roll).
Though Alvarez's trial is short and concludes at the end of this week, coach Kinnear feels the young midfielder will impress. "He should not put too much pressure on himself, though, because he's a good soccer player and good with the ball at his feet. We will find out more as the week goes on."
Before defecting to the United States, Alvarez played in his native Cuba with FC Cienfuegos in the Campeonato Nacional de Futbol de Cuba.