Yordany Álvarez

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Álvarez and the second or maternal family name is Oropeza.
Yordany Álvarez
Personal information
Full name Yordany Álvarez Oropeza
Date of birth (1985-05-24) 24 May 1985 (age 31)
Place of birth Cienfuegos, Cuba
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2008 FC Cienfuegos
2009–2010 Austin Aztex 40 (5)
2011 Orlando City 21 (2)
2011 Real Salt Lake (loan) 5 (0)
2012–2014 Real Salt Lake 33 (1)
2014 Orlando City (loan) 13 (1)
Total 112+ (9+)
National team
2006–2008 Cuba 8 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Yordany Álvarez Oropeza (born 24 May 1985) is a former Cuban footballer.



Álvarez began his career in his native Cuba, playing with his hometown club FC Cienfuegos in the Campeonato Nacional de Fútbol de Cuba.

While playing for the Cuban U-23 national team in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Tampa, Florida in March 2008, Álvarez, along with several other members of the team, defected to the United States under the wet foot dry foot scheme that allows Cubans who reach U.S. soil to obtain asylum.[1]

United States[edit]

Following an unsuccessful trial with Los Angeles Galaxy,[2] Álvarez was signed to a professional contract by the USL First Division expansion franchise Austin Aztex after attending the Aztex open tryouts in California in March 2009. He made his debut for the team on 18 April 2009, in Austin's USL1 season opener against Minnesota Thunder.[3] On 21 January 2010 renewed his contract by signing a three-year deal with the club.[4] Prior to the 2011 season, new owners purchased the club and moved it to Orlando, Florida, renaming it Orlando City SC. The club played in the USL Pro league in 2011, winning the league championship with Álvarez being named league most valuable player.

At the end of the 2011 USL Pro season, Álvarez signed with Major League Soccer club Real Salt Lake on a loan agreement.[5] In January 2012, Salt Lake exercised its option to purchase Álvarez [6] and he signed a three-year contract in February 2012.[7]

On 22 January 2014, it was announced that Álvarez was loaned back to Orlando City SC for the 2014 USL Pro season and the move would be made permanent in 2015 when the club began play in MLS. In exchange for Álvarez, Real Salt Lake acquired Orlando's 4th round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. This deal made Álvarez the second player ever signed to Orlando's MLS roster, second only to Kevin Molino.[8] However on 29 August 2014, Álvarez was forced to retire after undergoing a series of tests for a medical condition he suffered during a match on 7 June against the Dayton Dutch Lions.[9]


Álvarez received his U.S. green card in 2011.[10]


Orlando City[edit]

Real Salt Lake[edit]


USL Pro MVP: 2011[8]


  1. ^ "Seven members of Cuba U-23 team missing from hotel". ESPNFC.com. 
  2. ^ "Three Cuban Defectors Training with the LA Galaxy". theoffside.com. Archived from the original on 3 December 2008. 
  3. ^ Aztex earn draw in debut, tie Minnesota Archived 21 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Austin re-signs Álvarez". USLsoccer.com. Archived from the original on 9 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  5. ^ "Roster deadline roundup: LA trade for veteran Robinson". MLSsoccer.com. 
  6. ^ "RSL complete Alvarez transfer from Orlando City SC". MLSsoccer.com. 
  7. ^ "Real Salt Lake Re-Signs Four Key Cogs for 2012 Season and Beyond". oursportscentral.com. 
  8. ^ a b "Orlando City SC land second player for 2015 in deal for Real Salt Lake midfielder Yordany Alvarez". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Yordany "Gio" Alvarez retires from professional soccer". OrlandoCitySC.com. Orlando City Public Relations. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Orlando City standout Alvarez gets MLS opportunity". www.wftv.com. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 

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