BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, August 5, 2013
After spending the last several years within Club America's youth system, Ventura Alvarado is looking to break in at Necaxa in the Liga Ascenso.
Alvarado, 20, was a standout central defender with Club America's youth teams and where he helped the club win the U-20 Mexican Clausura in 2012 and finish in third place at the 2012 U-20 Copa Libertadores. Throughout the 2012 Apertura and the 2013 Clausura, he earned minutes with America's first team in the Copa Mx and was on the bench occasionally during league appearances.
Alvarado is in the final year of his contract but Club America felt it was best for the Phoenix, Arizona native to go out on loan to earn minutes. Initially it was difficult for him to leave the club after playing there for five years but he has enjoyed his transition to Necaxa which play in the second tier of Mexican soccer, the Liga Ascenso.
"It was Club America's idea," Alvarado told YA. "They wanted me to play more and have more game time for experience. I wanted to stay there and I took it as a chance took and I really like it."
The Liga Ascenso is a different style for Alvarado as he has found it to be more physical and athletic than the very technical approach in top division. The transition has required him to change his mental approach and adapt to the league's demands.
"It's been good," Alvarado explained. "I'm getting adapted. It's a change and a new city with new players. It's a different type of game. You have to run more here. Over here it's more physical and more mental. I have to think more and be smarter. I want to start every game and I want to be champions to get back in the top division."
Thus far Alvarado has been earning minutes in the Copa Mx for Necaxa but has not been able to break into the starting lineup during league games. The team's coach, Jose Ordiales, has preferred to go with an experienced backline.
The season has just begun and Necaxa are strong favorites to be promoted into the top division next year. So far the club has won each of the first three games of the season scoring eight goals and conceding just two.
Necaxa was once a powerful club in Mexico but fell on hard times starting in the early 2000's. It has since had a goal of returning the top level and remerging as a powerful club again. Breaking into the starting lineup will be difficult for Alvarado but he knows the season is long and that he is still a young player.
Alvarado doesn't know what lies beyond this season but his ambitions remain high to getting back to the top division.
"My goal is to get promoted and like every player, I want to be in the best club in Mexico and that's Club America," Alvarado concluded. "I would love to return but Necaxa is a great club with a lot of history."