Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar

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Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar
Personal information
Date of birth (1977-04-06) April 6, 1977 (age 39)
Place of birth Guadalajara, Mexico
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1996–1998 Santa Barbara City College
1999–2000 Fresno State Bulldogs
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001 San Diego Flash 18 (6)
2002–2006 Portland Timbers 131 (10)
2007–2008 Seattle Sounders 41 (3)
Teams managed
2009–2016 FC Alliance
2016– Greater Seattle Surf
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar (born April 6, 1977 in Guadalajara, Jalisco) is a former Mexican footballer who most recently played for the Seattle Sounders of the USL First Division.

Alcaraz-Cuellar initially began playing soccer with the San Diego Flash in 2001. In his rookie season in professional soccer, he began to showcase his talents as an attacking midfielder where he enjoyed a rather successful campaign by tallying in six goals. Unfortunately San Diego would fold the following season, which would result in Alcaraz-Cuellar to sign with the Portland Timbers. It was in Portland where he broaden his position of an attacking midfielder to that of a playmaker. During his tenure with Portland, he established himself as the Timbers' all-time leader in assists, with 44.[1] Including being ranked second in games played, and as well as third in points for the club. He assisted the club by claiming their first USL First Division Commissioner's Cup; he was awarded the Assist Leader Statistical award twice in his career, becoming the first player in league history to win the honor twice consecutively.

After failing to negotiate a deal with Portland, Alcaraz-Cuellar subsequently signed a contract with Cascadian arch-rivals Seattle Sounders in 2007. In Seattle he managed to contribute with two goals and eight assists, which tied him for second in the league in assists. Another notable achievement in Seattle was winning the double, in which he claimed his first USL First Division Championship. On February, 2010 he was ranked 15th in the USL First Division Top 25 of the Decade, which announced a list of the best and most influential players of the previous decade.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Alcaraz-Cueller's family moved to Santa Barbara, California when he was three years old.

Playing career[edit]

In 2001, Alcaraz-Cuellar went to an open tryout with the San Diego Flash of the USL A-League. The team was impressed enough to offer him a contract and he spent the 2001 season in San Diego. In San Diego, Alcaraz-Culler quickly established himself as a starter that provided him with a productive debut season where he recorded six goals and tallied 3 assists. The Flash folded at the end of the season and he moved to the Portland Timbers in 2002. Under the management of Bobby Howe, he was deployed as a playmaker for the Timbers. His first prosperous season came in 2003, where he helped the Timbers record the club’s third straight winning season including an impressive four-game winning streak. He set the single-season record for assists at nine. In the 2004 season, Alcaraz-Cuellar contributed by leading the offense with 10 assists that culminated with the Timbers finishing first in the Western Conference, with a record total of 57 points that claimed the league’s Regular Season Championship. However, they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by their long-standing rival, the Seattle Sounders. Once the season reached to a conclusion, he was awarded the Assist Leader Statistical award and received All-League honors. In 2005, the Timbers continued their winning ways and finished the year with their fifth straight winning season. Alcaraz-Cuellar managed to re-set the club’s record for assists in a single season, recording 12 assists which placed him to first in the league in assists for the second straight season, becoming the first player in league history to win the honor twice.[3] . He also earned a second All-League selection.

His contract expired in 2007 and when the Timbers did not express an interest in signing him, which resulted in Alcaraz-Cueller to sign a contract with Cascadian rivals the Seattle Sounders after Adrian Hanauer, owner of the Sounders, and Brian Schmetzer, drove to Portland to ask him to sign with Seattle. He selected the number 77 because the number 7 jersey was worn by Leighton O'Brien.[4] In his debut season with the Sounders, he managed to contribute two goals and eight assists, which tied him for second in the league. Alcaraz-Cuellar helped his team win the double by claiming the USL First Division Commissioner's Cup, and his first career USL First Division Championship. When the USL Sounders were prompted to the Major Soccer League at the end of the 2008 season, Alcaraz-Cuellar's contract was not renewed by the club; making him a free agent.

Coaching Career[edit]

Alcaraz-Cuellar is now a youth soccer coach for Greater Seattle Surf SC (Formerly known as FC Alliance).



Portland Timbers
Seattle Sounders



External links[edit]