This is Part 12 in a series of articles on the players who will be playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy this season.
Sometimes you have to get your share of knocks in order to come back stronger and develop a higher sense of resolve. For defender Sean Alvarado, he knows the feeling very well.
During an MLS Reserve League match against Chivas USA this season, he suffered a torn ACL and is currently recovering from surgery. It does not take away from a young career with promise, highlighted by an outstanding career with Jorge Salcido's UCLA Bruins.
Sean Alvarado, who claims Liverpool's Steven Gerrard as his role model, was born on September 20, 1987 in West Orange, New Jersey, a suburb of New York City. Alvarado graduated from St. Benedict's Preparatory Academy in Newark under head coach Rick Jacobs.
He led the Gray Bees to a 16th consecutive state title and a No. 4 national ranking in his final season while earning first-team All-American honors. As a player in the youth club circuit, Alvarado led Casa Mia to national titles between 2003-2005, an U-15 State Cup title with PDA Cantona and more State Cup titles with the Montclair Eagles.
Alvarado's success led him to more dominance as a defender for the UCLA Bruins. After seeing limited action in 2005, Alvarado broke through in his sophomore year with nine starts in 18 appearances at the center back position. He led the Bruins to the NCAA Division I College Cup Final, where they fell to Tim Vom Steeg's UC Santa Barbara Gauchos.
In 2007, he missed the entire season due to knee surgery and successfully applied for a medical redshirt. In 2008, Alvarado saw some action as a junior and earned the team's Coaches Award for a successful recovery from surgery.
2009 was Alvarado's curtain call. He started all 20 games he played, earned All Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors on a UCLA side that features current Galaxy bookend Michael Stephens.
This year, Alvarado was signed by the Galaxy as a homegrown player, but was unable to showcase his talent as his season was cut short due to injury.
Indeed, one must take a few steps back in order to take several steps forward. When Sean Alvarado takes those steps forward, expect big things from this defender in the years to come.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!