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Player to Coach: Pedro Alvarez

By Evan Unger, 11/03/20, 3:15PM EST

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In 2001, Pedro Alvarez left his native Colombia to join the New York Metrostars. During the 2001 season, Alvarez would play in 21 games, starting in 17 and scoring his first MLS goal in a 1-1 tie with the Colorado Rapids. That season, Alvarez helped lead the Metrostars to a second place finish in the Eastern Conference and a spot in the MLS Playoffs.


Before being signed with the Metrostars, Alvarez played professionally in his home country. His career started in 1991 with Independiente Medellin, and in 1996 he signed for the country's top club Atletico Nacional. With Atletico Nacional, he was team captain and led the team to the Copa Merconorte championship in 1998, and won the Categoría Primera A championship in 1999. Alvarez also appeared for the Colombia National Team in 1994.


When speaking about his playing experience shaping him as a coach, Alvarez commented: “As a player, I was a mixed midfielder with great dynamics to defend and support the attack of my teammates and in charge of the creation of the game and the goal-ending of our attack moves. Because of my position I could learn to observe the game and lead myself. 


Thanks to that duality, he said, “I teach my players at the Orlando Stars the order within the field of play and the commitment to always support the attack on our defense, occupying positions of support and participation in it and in the same way for the attackers occupying positions of defensive help and being aggressive and dynamic in the dispute of the ball when we must recover it!


Alvarez said that due to all the years of training and practicing soccer at a high level, he knows perfectly how the players think in certain important situations. “I will guide them to overcome difficult emotional moments and I still teach them to have all the technique and knowledge,” he said. 


After his playing career, Alvarez moved to Orlando, FL and started the Orlando Stars Soccer Academy in 2006. In the 2020-2021 season, the club has both their 16U and 18U boys teams participating in the EDP Florida Competitive League, and both have gotten off to a great start. The 18U side started the season with 3 wins and 0 losses, and the 16U side has 2 wins and 2 draws. In addition to the great start in league play, the club also received a visit on October 5th from EDP Technical Director Simon Collins and EDP Consultant Lawrie Dudfield. Dudfield, a professional player for over 10 years in England, ran the training session for the team that night, creating a special memory for all the players involved. 


Alvarez has this to say about his experience with EDP Soccer: “The EDP league has been very important and a great help to continue with the best development of our players. It has a very good level and the organization in Florida is led by a former professional player; that makes us feel identified with his philosophy of work and development and we hope to continue being not only eyewitnesses, we hope to be great protagonists in the great growth and development of the EDP league!"