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Efrain Alvarez making a claim for regular starting spot with LA Galaxy

Homegrown appears to be building on big summer so far.

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at LA Galaxy Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

His international future settled, Efrain Alvarez returned from the Concacaf Gold Cup with Mexico to post his best-ever week for the LA Galaxy.

Starting two games last week, Alvarez scored the winner in a midweek win over Real Salt Lake and had the assist to set up the opener in a draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday.

Here’s the tape on his terrific goal:

And here’s the tape of his assist:

All in all, this is exciting stuff for a player who’s gotten mountains of hype and only a few glimpses of his actual abilities at MLS level to date.

But it seems like the 19-year-old is starting to come good for LA. Now committed to Mexico, getting a few minutes of action in the Gold Cup, he served a reserve role for El Tri in the tournament and came back fresh to contribute right away for the Galaxy. The good news is he didn’t come back to his club and get bored by the more quotidian nature of this side of the game, he looks energized.

The same goes for his big contract signed last month. It seems the Galaxy’s commitment to him, presumably with a raise, means he seems settled and comfortable, but still motivated to show what he can do.

The next aim for Alvarez to target? In the short term, it’s staking a claim on a starting spot in the Galaxy’s lineup. He started the last three games he was available for the Galaxy, and he has eight starts in 11 appearances so far this season, which is a good ratio.

Given the number of games ahead and the multitude of options, there will be squad rotation for the next few months, to be sure, but the more Alvarez makes use of his playing time with impactful play, the more likely he’ll be amid the starters game to game. And the more often he is starting, the more he will be counted on to be a regular for this team.

Any player can have one good game, and many players can have two good games in a row, so we’ll see if Alvarez continues to impress for LA. But coming off a busy, possibly life-changing summer, it looks like he is really starting to blossom, and if he continues to do so, it will mean good things for him and the Galaxy alike.

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