2021 was Alexander Alvarado’s first full season as a member of Orlando City, after joining the team on Oct. 13 of last year. With plenty of attacking players on the Lions’ roster, Alvarado faced lots of competition for a place in the team. So how did he perform in 2021?
Alvarado appeared in 10 matches, an increase from his two appearances during his shortened first season with Orlando. Eight of those 10 appearances were as a substitute however, and Alvarado ultimately totaled 192 minutes of time on the field. He did not record any goals or assists, and took one shot in the 5-0 hammering at the hands of NYCFC. He completed 72 of his 81 attempted passes for an 89% rate of passing accuracy. He drew eight fouls while committing one, and did not receive any cards. On the defensive side of things he contributed one clearance, one interception, and three blocks.
His best outing was probably his substitute appearance in the 5-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes. While he only played for 19 minutes it was an impactful outing. The Ecuadorian had one key pass and one successful cross, while passing at a 90% rate. He also made a block and drew a foul while helping Orlando see out a dominant performance at Exploria Stadium.
2021 Final Grade
Due to the limited amount of minutes that he played during the 2021 season, The Mane Land staff gave Alvarado a grade of incomplete, which is the same grade that he received last year. Alvarado did have an uptick in minutes compared to last year, but competition for places in the attack meant he didn’t see a ton of playing time.
Alvarado didn’t have a ton of chances to showcase what he can do this year. The most minutes he played in a game was the 69 he logged during the pasting at Yankee Stadium. Outside of that match and the 66 minutes he played during the road 2-2 draw against Nashville SC, he did not make an appearance longer than 20 minutes. Still, he’s shown flashes of what he can do, with his passing ability emerging as a particular asset. With Chris Mueller’s departure there will be more opportunities for playing time next year, provided Orlando doesn’t make another signing in that area. We don’t know details about how long his contract is, because the club announced it had made his transfer permanent but did not release the length of his deal, but it isn’t unreasonable to expect to see him back next year.
Look for more Orlando City Season in Review pieces over the course of the next few weeks.