CARSON, Calif. – No goal will ever mean more to Alejandro Covarrubias than the one that he scored to help LA Galaxy II defeat Cal FC in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday evening.
The smashing free kick finish in the sixth minute was the first professional goal by the 22-year-old midfielder. If scoring his first goal as a professional just a stone’s throw away from where he played college soccer with Cal State Dominguez Hills wasn’t enough, Covarrubias admitted that the goal was dedicated to something much bigger than just his team.
“In the honest truth, when the goal went in, I was just stunned because there were just so many emotions. It was a great goal, but I wanted to dedicate it to my two friends Eddie Valencia and Carlos Ornelas who died two years ago in a car accident. I live my whole life for them and that goal was for them.”
Prior to suiting for the Toros, Covarrubias played alongside Valencia and Orenlas during the 2010 and 2011 seasons at Cerritos College where the three players were standouts for the Falcons.
In August 2011, Valencia and Orenlas had accepted scholarships to attend Kansas Wesleyan University, but while driving along the Utah-Colorado border, the Chevy Silverado pickup carrying the two players and teammate Brian Reyes veered into a median. All three men were airlifted to area hospitals, but the injuries sustained in the crash ultimately claimed the lives of Valencia and Orenlas.
To honor his fallen friends, Covarrubias decided to tattoo the names of his former teammates along his right arm along with a cross signifying their memory. But in the sixth minute of Los Dos’ eventual 6-1 victory, Covarrubias had a chance to honor his friends in a different way—with his first professional strike.
“I had so many mixed emotions after the goal,” said Covarrubias. “As soon as it hit the net, I wanted to cry but I also wanted to celebrate. That goal was for them. I pointed up at the sky and I just hope that they were looking over me.”
But the 22-year-old insists that he’s not done trying to honor his friends as he looks to continue to mark his mark on LA Galaxy II with an eye on, one day, suiting up for the first team.
“I want to thank Galaxy II and the whole LA Galaxy organization for giving me the opportunity and believing in me and encouraging me to move forward,” said Covarrubias. “To score a goal on my campus was amazing, but my dream is to be in the first team.
“You never know how that will turn out. I just want to believing and working hard.”