Technically adept, quick on his feet and equipped with a great overview – these are the attributes that one can quickly attest to Juan Alvarez. In the last test match against SK St. Johann/Tirol, the US-American was able to show his skills during his playing time in the second half of the match.
“I feel very comfortable here, even if the start was difficult for me personally. It’s the first time I’ve moved away from home on my own. I moved once before many years ago, but I wasn’t alone then. Now everything is new. I am on my own and have to organize my life myself. The club is a great support and has made my early days much easier. I’ve also been given a great reception by my new teammates,” reports Alvarez after his start.
The 18-year-old, who was a member of the U.S. national team at the U15 and U17 levels, most recently played for Tacoma Defiance and wants to use his time in Austria not only for himself, but to mature as a player and person. “When I got the offer to come to Austria, I basically decided right away. I didn’t need a long time to think about it. It sounded exciting to me and the appeal of a new challenge was very great. Until now, I have lived with my parents and my siblings. Now a new phase in my life has begun. I’m looking forward to it and really appreciate the opportunity I’ve been given,” says the offensive player, who currently still attends high school in his home country and was introduced to soccer by his father.
If you ask soccer players about their most beautiful or emotional experience in their sport, the answers are almost always the same: a beautiful goal against a long-time rival, winning a tournament or the decisive match in a championship. Alvarez’s answer was therefore somewhat surprising: “I don’t have to think about it for long. My best experience was my first visit to a professional match in a huge stadium. That really thrilled me. So it was even nicer that I was able to share this moment with my father, who is my great idol. He is an incredibly warm person and he would do anything for my siblings and me. It feels good to feel such support,” enthuses the 18-year-old, who is considered shy and very disciplined.
In the long term, Alvarez wants to make the leap to a first division team, regardless of which country that dream should come true. “I want to play at a high level, but before that I still have a long way to go and I have to work hard on myself. Nothing is given to you, I am aware of that. But I’m ready and I’m fighting for my goals,” admits the US American, who likes to play cards in his free time and gamble with his friends on the console – where the strategist often comes out – on record. But the one or other visit to a restaurant is not to be missed either.