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LAFC 2021 Player Postmortem: Alvaro Quezada

Rookie gets a taste of MLS.

SOCCER: AUG 15 MLS - LAFC at Atlanta United FC Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Alvaro Quezada was LAFC’s third round selection in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft out of UC Irvine, and at the time, you may have been surprised if he made the MLS roster at all, based on past precedent by the club.

In the end, you would have been, because Quezada was the only one of LAFC’s three draft picks this year to sign an MLS contract. A forward in college, in the pros he ended up playing eight distinct positions in 2021, all except the center back spots and goalkeeper.

Quezada, as expected, played the bulk of his minutes on loan at LAFC’s reserve team Las Vegas Lights FC in the USL Championship, making 15 appearances, all starts, and playing over 1,300 minutes, scoring two goals and two assists along the way.

In the end, he made just one appearance in MLS in 2021, coming on late in LAFC’s horrible 4-1 home loss to Sporting Kansas City in early August.

Alvaro Quezada 2021 LAFC Statistics

2021 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2021 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
MLS 1 0 22 0 0 0 0 0 0

That game was probably LAFC’s worst-ever, until perhaps the season-ending loss at Colorado Rapids, but that Sporting KC loss is definitely in the conversation for worst loss in club history, and so Quezada, who played as a right back to close out a lost cause of a game, didn’t get much of a chance to shine in that one.

He then spent the last several weeks of the season on the injury report, so that one appearance in MLS play was all he had this year.

Given his spot on the roster and the sheer variety of positions he played, it seems like Quezada has a shot to slot in as a utilityman, but it can be very hard to establish oneself as a professional in that role. While nearly every team needs players who can fill in just about anywhere, it can be tough to really break through on a good team while not having a really settled position.

Quezada was signed on a one-year deal in April with options for the next three seasons. That’s a very team-friendly deal, and to be perfectly honest I have no idea if his option will be picked up for 2022. Teams need affordable domestic players deep on their rosters, but what will the next manager look to do? Will Quezada be in his plans?

At the very least, I think he can easily get a deal at USL level if he is not retained by LAFC next year. But with a very small sample size, it’s unclear if that was his tenure with the black-and-gold, or if it was just a start.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.