Edson Alvarez

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Mexicans Abroad: Weekend Roundup

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It looked as if Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez had scored his first goal for his new club Sevilla, at the expense for a former one, Real Madrid. Until it was taken away.

Chicharito came off the bench for Sevilla for a second-straight game and did his best to make an impact, but his offside goal aside, Sevilla slumped to a 1-0 defeat. Elsewhere, Edson Alvarez played in his first Eredivisie derby as Ajax took a 1-1 draw away from a trip to PSV Eindhoven.

Here is a list of several other Mexico national team affiliates making a name for themselves (or not) outside of Mexico this weekend.


Serie A

Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, Napoli — Lozano came off the bench on Sunday for Napoli in the 73rd minute of it’s 4-1 win over Lecce.

Premier League

Raul Jimenez, Wolverhampton Wanderers — Jimenez started but was subbed off in the 76th minute of Wolves 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace. Jimenez now hasn’t scored in three-straight games in all competitions since the international break.

La Liga

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Sevilla — Chicharito came off the bench in the 69th minute against his former club, and even appeared to score the game-tying goal. Alas, it was ruled out for him being offside.

Hector Herrera, Atletico Madrid — Herrera finally made his first start for Los Colchoneros on Saturday in a scoreless draw with Celta Vigo. Herrera went 60 minutes before being substituted.

Andres Guardado, Real Betis —  The veteran midfielder returned to the starting lineup on Friday in a scoreless draw with Osasuna. Guardado played 78 minutes and picked up a yellow card.

Diego Lainez, Real Betis — The 19-year-old make the 18, but didn’t take the field against Osasuna.

Nestor Araujo, Celta Vigo — Araujo started and went the full 90 against his international teammate Herrera and Atletico Madrid in a scoreless draw. Araujo shut down an offense that includes Joao Felix, Diego Costa, Angel Correa and Alvaro Morata.

Eredivisie

Erick Gutierrez, PSV Eindhoven — Gutierrez made his return to the PSV gameday squad on Sunday for De Topper against Ajax. However, he didn’t make it off the bench.

Edson Alvarez, Ajax — Alvarez started and played the full 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw at PSV.

Primeira Liga

Jesus “Tecatito” Corona, FC Porto — Starting at right back again, Tecatito went 76 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Porto’s 2-0 win over Santa Clara.

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Omar Govea, Zulte Waregem — Govea made the gameday squad but didn’t appear in Zulte’s 2-2 draw with Genk.

Elsewhere around the globe:

Hector Moreno, Al Gharafa   On Thursday, Moreno started and played 81 minutes in Al Gharafa’s 3-1 win over Al Ahli.

Juan Gerardo Ramirez Alosno, Roda JC — The 21-year-old fullback was left on the bench in Roda’s 3-1 defeat to Utrecht II on Friday.

Carlos Fierro, San Jose Earthquakes – Dressed but didn’t play in the Quakes’ 3-1 loss to Atlanta United.

Carlos Vela, LAFC – Vela scored a penalty kick goal to help save a point for LAFC against Toronto FC in a 1-1 draw.

Jonathan Dos Santos, LA Galaxy – Dos Santos started and went the full 90 minutes, picking up a yellow card, as the Galaxy beat the Montreal Impact, 2-1.

Uriel Antuna, LA Galaxy – Antuna started and scored the game-winning goal for the Galaxy off an assist from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the Galaxy’s 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact.

Mexicans abroad: Weekend Roundup

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Scoring a goal for Napoli against Juventus in a seven-goal thriller, Hirving “Chucky” Lozano’s Serie A debut lived up to the hype.

In England, despite Wolves’ slow league start, Raul Jimenez continues to rack up his goal count. His combined Premier League and Europa League qualifying goal count now stands at eight goals throughout 10 appearances.

Elsewhere, Chichairto, who didn’t feature for West Ham on Saturday, is on the verge of signing with Sevilla. If the reported $10 million transfer follows through, he will become the fifth active Mexican in La Liga, and the third to play for the Spanish club.

Here is a list of several other Mexico national team affiliates making a name for themselves (or not) outside of Mexico this weekend.

Serie A

Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, Napoli — It’s the Lozano signature special: scoring in debuts. Like in his debuts for Pachuca and PSV Eindhoven, Chucky opened his Napoli account in his first appearance. On Saturday, the 24-year-old scored 23 minutes after coming on at halftime; however, Gli Azzurri would go on and lose 4-3 in the final seconds following a Kalidou Koulibaly own goal.

Premier League

Raul Jimenez, Wolverhampton Wanderers — Wolves’ miserable Premier League start continues, falling 3-2 to Everton. Jimenez, who played all 90 minutes, scored his second of a young season.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, West Ham — With a return to La Liga expected to be announced on MondayChicharito was inactive this weekend for West Ham. Recognizing that the 31-year-old was on his way out, Manuel Pellegrini cited that an injury was the root of his absence.

La Liga

Hector Herrera, Atletico Madrid — La Liga is three weeks in and Hector Herrera has yet to make his La Liga debut. It’s not the start the 29-year-old expected, surely.

Andres Guardado, Real Betis — Los Verdiblancos’ captain started and played 90 minutes in Betis’ 2-1 win against Leganes. The Jalisco native recorded 81 touches, four key passes and one shot on target.

Diego Lainez, Real Betis — The 19-year-old didn’t dress for Saturday’s bout.

Nestor Araujo, Celta Vigo — Throughout 76 minutes, Araujo recorded five interceptions and two clearances in Celta’s 1-1 draw against Sevilla.

Eredivisie

Erick Gutierrez, PSV Eindhoven — Gutierrez started and played 56 minutes for PSV on Sunday in their 3-1 win over RKC Waalwijk. In the 51st minute, the midfielder was shown a yellow card. 

Edson Alvarez, Ajax — Like Lozano and Jimenez, Alvarez, too, is flourishing in Europe. Midweek, Alvarez scored his first goal for the Dutch side in their Champions League qualifying victory over APOEL. On Sunday, the 21-year-old started and played all 90 minutes in Ajax’s 4-1 walloping of Sparta Rotterdam. 

Primeira Liga

Jesus “Tecatito” Corona, FC Porto — Deployed as a right back, Corona continues to excel in Sergio Conceicao’s scheme. On Sunday, in Porto’s 4-1 win against Vitoria, he assisted Moussa Marega, who opened the scoreline.

Jupiler Pro League

Omar Govea, Zulte Waregem — All is well for Govea in Belgium. The midfielder started and played 90 minutes in Zulte Waregem’s 2-0 victory against Royal Antwerp.

Elsewhere around the globe:

Hector Moreno, Al Gharafa   On Friday, Moreno started and played all 90 minutes in Al Gharafa’s 0-0 draw.

Juan Gerardo Ramirez Alosno, Roda JC — The 21-year-old fullback was left on the bench in Roda’s 1-0 loss.

Carlos Fierro, San Jose Earthquakes – Matias Almeyda has yet to hand the 25-year-old his first start. On Saturday, Fierro played the final nine minutes of San Jose’s convincing 3-0 win over Orlando City.

Carlos Vela, LAFC – LAFC take on Minnesota United on Sunday.

Jonathan Dos Santos, LA Galaxy – Dos Santos has been as reliable as they get. On Sunday, the midfielder started and played 90 minutes in Galaxy’s 4-3 loss to Seattle.

Uriel Antuna, LA Galaxy – A favorite of Tata Martino, Antuna scored a goal against the Sounders. It will play to his advantage as he and the rest of his national team prepare for Mexico’s upcoming friendlies against the USMNT and Argentina, respectively.

What does USMNT’s, Mexico’s FIFA Rankings surge tell us?

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Rising eight and six places respectively, the USMNT and Mexico can be referred to as the clear-cut big winners – at least within the Top 30 – from FIFA’s latest world rankings released on Thursday. 

El Tri, 12th in the rankings, behind Switzerland and a step above Denmark, had a picture-perfect showing in this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, hoisting the trophy in Chicago after winning all six games in the team’s first tournament under Argentine coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino. 

Greg Berhalter’s men, on the other hand, surged their way back into the Top 30 after a solid runner-up performance in the aforementioned tournament. 

But what do the positive, upward trends say about CONCACAF’s giants, though? 

Well, that the new era for both sides, despite being in a premature stage, is looking promising not only for the future of the national sides, but for the overall trajectory of the American and Mexican player along with the sport in North America. 

As both rivals – and their domestic leagues, MLS and Liga MX – continue to amp up the competition and collaboration efforts among each other, the quality and opportunities are increasing exponentially. Such effect continues to garner eyes and interest from worldwide audiences and from scouts in Europe’s top-five leagues. In other words, North Americans are, slowly but surely, becoming constant go-to marquee signings for some of Europe’s best. 

In January, American star, Christian Pulisic, signed for Chelsea after the English giants and Borussia Dortmund agreed to a record $73.1 million fee. An over-the-top purchase for many initially – keeping in mind the 20-year-old’s performance this summer and ascending marketability – the price tag the Blues paid for his services doesn’t seem inflated one bit.  

The Gold Cup also allowed Mexican promise Edson Alvarez to finally make the leap to the other side of the Atlantic. Astute, composed and a natural leader, Alvarez slots in as the natural replacement for either Mattijs de Ligt or Frankie de Jong at Ajax. Both historical and record departures, it speaks volumes about the confidence and legitimacy a recent Champions League semi-finalist has given the Club America and Mexico national team product.  

The USMNT and Mexico swarming up the rankings hand-in-hand is not a new trend, but with the interconnection of current times and the slew of Americans and Mexicans already making a name in Europe, Thursday’s latest rankings is a visual representation that the new era is all about rampant growth for North America’s giants. 

Ajax seals El Tri’s young star Alvarez for $17M

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Ajax has developed a ton of youngsters, and now has a pair of CONCACAF starlets in the fold for 2019-20.

A day after selling Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus for a reported $84 million, the Dutch side has delivered on reports that it wanted Edson Alvarez.

That puts the 21-year-old Mexican defender/defensive midfielder in the Eredivisie side with 18-year-old Dutch-American defender Sergino Dest.

While Dest has yet to break into the full USMNT, playing in the U-20 World Cup this summer, Alvarez already has 28 caps and five goals for El Tri.

He’ll bring a relative wealth of experience from Club America, and Ajax could use him to help offset the sale of Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona. While Alvarez has played a lot of center back in Liga MX, he’s been used at defensive midfielder by Tata Martino with the national team.

The reported fee is $17 million, according to Goal.

Report: Ajax in negotiations to sign El Tri’s Alvarez

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One of the Mexico National Team’s brightest stars appears to be heading to Ajax, where he could potentially be the replacement for one Matthijs de Ligt.

According to a report in Voetbol International, a publication in the Netherlands, Ajax technical director Marc Overmars confirmed the club’s interest in signing Club America and El Tri defender Edson Alvarez. Club America are reportedly demanding nothing less than nearly $17 million for Alvarez, who has in just two years become a regular for El Tri.

[READ: USMNT’s Boyd signs with Besiktas]

The report states that Wolverhampton Wanderers – which has Alvarez’s El Tri teammate Raul Jimenez – and PSV Eindhoven were also interesting in signing Alvarez.

The 21-year-old made his debut for Club America as a right back under long-time Liga MX manager Ricardo La Volpe in 2016, and just a few months after his club debut, he was already playing for the national team. He was included and featured at the 2017 Gold Cup, becoming Mexico’s youngest scorer in the competition (at age 19) and he then started all four of Mexico’s games at the 2018 World Cup, including against Neymar and Brazil in the Round of 16.

Alvarez has continued his strong play over the past year and has moved into more of a centerback and holding midfielder role at times. He played as a No. 6 for Mexico in its 1-0 win over the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2019 Gold Cup final, at times dropping into the back line to defend while providing support in the attack.

As Alvarez is still young but continues to grow, it’s a perfect time for him to join Ajax. There, he’ll face even better attackers than in Liga MX, and he’ll have a lot of responsibility on his shoulders to play for a prestigious club like Ajax. The pressure to perform will only make him better, like it’s helped countryman Hirving “Chucky” Lozano across the Netherlands at PSV Eindhoven.

Interestingly, Alvarez would be the second summer signing for Ajax with a North American connection. Defender Kik Pierie was actually born in Boston, while his father was studying at Harvard Medical School, though he’s been raised almost entirely in the Netherlands and has featured for the Oranje internationally.