Efrain Alvarez named USL Young Player of the Year

United Soccer League announced today LA Galaxy II midfielder Efrain Alvarez has been voted the 2018 USL Young Player of the Year. The award recognizes the top player from the 2018 USL season who was born on or after Jan. 1, 1996. At 16-years-old, Alvarez set league records while recording double-digit goals for Los Dos’ high-scoring attack.

“I am honored to be named USL’s Young Player of the Year. I am very grateful for the coaches and teammates that have helped me get to this point in my career,” said Alvarez. “I’m looking forward to an even better season next year.”

In his first full professional season with the LA Galaxy, Alvarez finished the season with 12 goals and three assists in 17 appearances, scoring at a rate of a goal every 103.25 minutes. During the 2018 season, Alvarez became the youngest player in USL history to record a hat trick when he found three goals against Saint Louis FC on May 9. He repeated the feat on September 22 against Real Monarchs SLC to be one of only two players in the 2018 regular season to record a pair of hat tricks. Alvarez helped Los Dos to a 6-3-0 record when he scored a goal or secured an assist.

“Our club couldn’t be more proud of Efrain and the environment that we have created for all of our young talents to flourish and express themselves,” said Mike Muñoz, LA Galaxy II Head Coach. “The LA Galaxy Academy staff, LA Galaxy II staff, LA Galaxy staff and the Mexican Federation have put everything into Efrain for him to succeed and he has taken full advantage of it.”

Alvarez received 40 percent of the vote, beating out fellow finalists including Hassan Ndam (New York Red Bulls II), Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United 2) and Wan Kuzain (Swope Park Rangers). In total, 22 different players earned votes in the ballot.

“Efrain thoroughly deserves this award based on what he has produced and what he personally has accomplished with his teammates,” said Muñoz. “He knows it is only the beginning and must continue to put in the work to take it to the next level.”

The 2018 USL Young Player of the Year was voted on by team management and a league-wide media panel that included representation from every USL market. Voting was conducted following the conclusion of the 2018 USL regular season. Below is a breakdown of the voting results:

Young Player of the Year

Average %

Efrain Alvarez (LA Galaxy II)


Hassan Ndam (New York Red Bulls II)


Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United 2)


Wan Kuzain (Swope Park Rangers)


2018 USL Awards:

Defender of the Year: Forrest Lasso, FC Cincinnati
Goalkeeper of the Year: Maxime Crepeau, Ottawa Fury FC
Coach of the Year: Alan Koch, FC Cincinnati
Young Player of the Year: Efrain Alvarez, LA Galaxy II
Most Valuable Player: Announced November 14