Alvarez returns to club that gave him his first professional contract in U.S. with MLS experience, guaranteed roster spot in 2015

Orlando, Fla. – Orlando City SC announced Wednesday that Midfielder Yordany Alvarez will join the club as its second Major League Soccer (MLS) signing for the inaugural 2015 season. Alvarez comes back to Orlando after leading the Lions to their first USL PRO Championship in 2011, gaining valuable experience during his time in MLS with Real Salt Lake.

“We’re obviously delighted to have Yordany back,” said Orlando City Head Coach Heath. “We have an MLS-calibre player returning to us. I’m really excited to have him with us again and looking forward to the future with him on the squad.“

To acquire Alvarez, the club traded its lowest 4th round SuperDraft pick in 2017. In 2014, Alvarez will be on a loan from Real Salt Lake, playing for the Lions in their final season in the USL PRO.

During his time in Orlando in 2011, Alvarez was named the USL PRO’s Most Valuable Player for his contributions, which included three goals in 25 overall appearances. Prior to the 2011 season, Alvarez was a standout on Heath’s squad during his time with the Austin Aztex, playing in a total of 41 games while scoring five goals spanning the 2009 and ’10 seasons.

In 2012, Orlando transferred the Cuban international to Real Salt Lake (RSL) of Major League Soccer, where he appeared in 15 MLS games in 2012, starting five times for Team Captain Kyle Beckerman.

In 2013, Alvarez’s production increased, starting 11 games in 18 appearances, totalling 981 minutes for the Claret and Cobalt. The starts came in place of MLS All-Star Kyle Beckerman, with Alvarez impressing the RSL coaching staff with his high-level of play.

Alvarez’s story is a humbling one, personifying the American Dream. Five years ago, the 28-year-old midfielder was among three players who snuck out of the back door of a Florida hotel- defecting from their native Cuba in the middle of an international tournament.

After making it across the country on just $500, the midfielder tried out for the Austin Aztex, catching the attention of Heath. Alvarez made the move to Orlando with the club in the 2010 offseason, providing immediate dividends in the 2011 USL PRO season.

The midfielder joins Kevin Molino as the club’s first MLS acquisitions for the 2015 season. Both will be playing for Orlando’s final USL PRO season in 2014.

“I’m excited to be back in Orlando,” said Alvarez. “Orlando City has a special place in my heart for giving me a chance.”

Transaction: Orlando City trades lowest 2017 4th Round SuperDraft pick to Real Salt Lake, signs Yordany Alvarez in 2015 (MLS).

Name: Yordany Alvarez

Position: Midfield

Height: 5’ 10”

Weight: 165 lbs

DOB: May 24, 1985

Last Club: Real Salt Lake (MLS)

2013 Real Salt Lake (MLS) 18 1 981 0 10 21
2012 Real Salt Lake (MLS) 15 0 500 0 7 12
2011 Real Salt Lake (MLS) 5 0 419 0 0 21
2011 Orlando City (USLPRO) 21 2 1802 0 25 31
2010 Austin Aztex (USSF D-2) 27 2 1201 5 6 3
2009 Austin Aztex 14 3 1229 2 1 21


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