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MLS Jul 24, 2019

Efraín Álvarez headlines roster additions for 2019 MLS Homegrown Game

NEW YORK (Wednesday, July 24, 2019) – Major League Soccer today announced five additions to the Homegrown Team roster for the 2019 MLS Homegrown Game as talented players from the youth national teams of the United States, Canada and Mexico are represented on the 24-man roster.

Additionally, Homegrown opponent Chivas de Guadalajara’s Under-20 Team announced its traveling roster for the match set to take place on Tuesday, July 30 at 5 p.m. ET (TUDN / Twitter) at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla.

The MLS Homegrown Game will be part of an exciting night of action at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. As part of a dual-event ticket, fans will be able to enjoy both the MLS Homegrown Game at 5 p.m. ET, followed by the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge at 8 p.m. ET. Tickets are available for purchase at: www.MLSsoccer.com/AllStar.

The Homegrown Team additions include midfielders Efraín Álvarez (LA Galaxy) and Clément Bayiha (Montreal Impact), defenders George Campbell (Atlanta United) and Andre Reynolds II (Chicago Fire), and goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes). Withdrawing from the roster are defenders Daniel Kinumbe (Montreal Impact) and Donovan Pines (D.C. United), and goalkeeper Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union). MLS Homegrown Team coach and Orlando City SC Academy Director Marcelo Neveleff will now have 24 skilled players to call upon when facing Chivas.

Álvarez is one of two 17-year-olds on the Homegrown Team roster and has shined for the LA Galaxy this season with two assists over eight matches played. Additionally, Álvarez helped the Mexico Under-17 National Team qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup set to begin in October and has played with several Chivas players throughout the Mexico Youth National Team system. Bayiha has represented Canada at multiple youth national team levels, most recently appearing at the Concacaf U-20 Championship.

At goalkeeper, Marcinkowski represented the United States at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, helping the team reach the quarterfinals of the tournament. Reynolds II has represented the United States at numerous Youth National Team levels as well, most recently appearing for the U-19 squad. Campbell has been a mainstay with Atlanta United 2 in the USL Championship and has signed a Homegrown Player contract with Atlanta’s first team that will go into effect January 1, 2020. Álvarez and Marcinkowski appear in their second MLS Homegrown Game, while the remaining 22 players all make their first appearance.

Chivas de Guadalajara’s U-20 team captured the 2018 U-20 Apertura title, and features numerous players that have received time with both the reserve team and the Chivas first team side has captured three titles over the previous three years. This is the second time Chivas has participated in the MLS Homegrown Game, previously serving as the opponent in the 2017 contest.

2019 MLS Homegrown Team Roster

Goalkeepers: JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake), Mason Stajduhar (Orlando City SC)

Defenders: George Campbell (Atlanta United), Aboubacar Keita (Columbus Crew SC), Erik McCue (Houston Dynamo), Andre Reynolds II (Chicago Fire), Bryan Reynolds (FC Dallas), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids)

Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union), Efraín Álvarez (LA Galaxy), Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids), Clément Bayiha (Montreal Impact), Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City), Edwin Cerrillo (FC Dallas), Mathieu Choinière (Montreal Impact), Noble Okello (Toronto FC), Thomas Roberts (FC Dallas), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas)

Forwards: Theo Bair (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Handwalla Bwana (Seattle Sounders FC), Omir Fernandez (New York Red Bulls), Benji Michel (Orlando City SC), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution)

MLS Homegrown Game History
2018: MLS Homegrown Team 1-1 Tigres UANL U-20s
2017: MLS Homegrown Team 2-2 Chivas de Guadalajara U-20s
2016: MLS Homegrown Team 0-1 Mexico U-20s
2015: MLS Homegrown Team 1(4)-1(5) Club América U-20s
2014: MLS Homegrown Team 0–0 Portland Timbers U-23s

Chivas de Guadalajara U-20 Roster

First Name
Last Name
Jersey Number Position DOB
Cristian Alejandro Acosta 183 FW May 3, 1999
José Raul Aguilar 181 GK February 25, 2000
Irving Abraham Casas 188 FW March 16, 2000
Jossué Aldhair Chavarin 193 MF February 3, 2001
Juan Jesus Chen 202 FW September 29, 2001
Benjamin de la Mora 195 FW January 20, 2001
Diego Del Campo 200 DF October 19, 2001
Sebastián Emiliano González 204 MF August 17, 2001
Gilberto López 185 DF February 4, 1999
Zahid Yibram López 194 MF January 29, 2001
José Samuel Madrigal 205 MF August 6, 2001
Leopoldo Alberto Mora 182 DF March 7, 1999
Alejandro Orozco 189 MF June 2, 2000
Rodrigo Orozco 197 DF February 1, 2001
Irvin Jair Peláez 203 FW March 7, 2001
Daniel Pinedo 190 FW July 12, 2000
Miguel Angel Plancarte 198 FW August 1, 2001
Deivoon Alexander Rico 186 FW January 20, 2000
Gilberto Roa 192 DF August 19, 2000
Walter Oswaldo Valero 199 DF February 17, 2001
Brandon Vargas 206 MF June 28, 2001
Sebastián Vidrio 196 FW January 6, 2001
Alan Eduardo Villanueva 187 MF February 19, 2000

Bios for 2019 MLS Homegrown Team

Brenden Aaronson l Midfielder l Philadelphia Union l Nationality: USA l October 22, 2000
Aaronson has 18 starts in 20 games during his first MLS season after signing a Homegrown Player contract on September 17, 2018. The 18-year-old, who earned a recent call-up to U.S. U-23 camp in June, was a key contributor to leading Bethlehem Steel FC, the club’s USL affiliate, to the postseason last year. His six goals in 14 appearances for the Union’s U-19 academy team during the 2017-18 season complemented his deep roots in Philadelphia’s youth system, which date back to age 10 with the Union Juniors Pre-Academy. This is Aaronson’s first Homegrown Game selection.

Efraín Álvarez l Midfielder l LA Galaxy l Nationality: USA l June 19, 2002
Álvarez has registered two assists over eight regular season appearances for the Galaxy this season. Signed to a Homegrown Player contract on March 4, 2018, the 17-year-old spent last season with LA Galaxy II in USL, scoring 12 goals in 18 appearances. The Los Angeles native became the youngest player in USL history to sign a professional contract in August 2017 and then became the youngest player to appear in a USL match in October 2017. Álvarez has represented both the United States and Mexico internationally, most recently helping Mexico secure a spot in October’s 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil. This is Álvarez’s second Homegrown Game selection.

Theo Bair | Forward | Vancouver Whitecaps FC | Nationality: Canada | Born: August 27, 1999
The 19-year-old signed his Homegrown Player contract on July 17, 2018 after joining the Whitecaps FC residency program in 2015. Bair has appeared in six matches for Vancouver in his inaugural MLS season, including substitute appearances in the club’s two most recent regular season matches. A member of Canada’s Youth National Team, Bair has represented the U-20 squad at the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship in addition to the U-23 team this year. This is Bair’s first Homegrown Game selection.

Cole Bassett l Midfielder l Colorado Rapids l Nationality: USA l July 28, 2001
Bassett became the youngest signing in Colorado Rapids history when he signed a Homegrown Player contract on August 10, 2018. The now 17-year-old, who was called into U.S. U-18 camp in January, has a goal and two assists over 12 starts and 16 appearances this season. His strong 2019 follows a 2018 rookie campaign that included six appearances, three starts, and a goal to become the club’s Academy Player of the Year. This is Bassett’s first Homegrown Game selection.

Clément Bayiha | Midfielder | Montreal Impact | Nationality: Cameroon/Canada | Born: March 8, 1999
Born in Yaoundé, Cameroon and raised in Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec, Bayiha represented the Montreal Impact’s academy starting in 2016 and signed a Homegrown Player contract on November 16, 2018. He has been a part of Canada’s national team program at numerous levels. Last year, Bayiha played for Canada’s U-20s in the Concacaf U-20 Championship and also represented Canada’s U-23s in the Toulon Tournament in France. Bayiha made his MLS debut on March 30, 2019 and has registered one assist over eight appearances this season. This is Bayiha’s first Homegrown Game selection.

Gianluca Busio l Midfielder l Sporting Kansas City l Nationality: USA l May 28, 2002
At the time of his signing on August 25, 2017, Busio became the second-youngest player in league history to sign an MLS contract. The now 17-year-old, with U.S. Youth National Team experience at the U-15 and U-17 levels, this season became the youngest player ever to score in three consecutive MLS games. His three goals and six starts in 13 appearances for 2019 builds on a 2018 debut that featured a goal and an assist in seven games played. Busio led the United States to second place at the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship, scoring five goals en route to a tournament Best XI selection. The midfielder could represent the United States in October’s 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup. This is Busio’s first Homegrown Game selection.

Handwalla Bwana | Forward | Seattle Sounders FC | Nationality: Kenya/USA | Born: June 25, 1997
Bwana joined the Sounders FC academy in 2015 before signing a Homegrown Player contract with the club on January 11, 2018. The Kenya-born forward played two seasons at the University of Washington before signing a professional contract. Bwana scored two goals and notched one assist in 12 appearances during his debut MLS season in 2018. Thus far in 2019, Bwana has totaled one goal in 10 appearances for the club in regular season action. This is Bwana’s his first Homegrown Game selection.

George Campbell | Defender | Atlanta United | Nationality: USA | Born: June 22, 2001
The center back signed a Homegrown Player contract with Atlanta United on July 9, 2019 and remains with Atlanta United 2 until the contract goes into effect on January 1, 2020. Campbell has been a key player for the club’s USL Championship side and has been part of the Atlanta United Academy since its launch in 2016. The 18-year-old is the sixth player signed to a Homegrown Player contract in Atlanta United history. This is Campbell’s first Homegrown Game selection.

Mathieu Choinière | Midfielder | Montreal Impact | Nationality: Canada | Born: February 7, 1999
Choinière joined the Impact academy in 2011 at the age of 12 before signing a Homegrown Player contract on July 17, 2018. The Quebec native has represented Canada at the U-18, U-20 and U-23 levels, and was part of the squad at the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship. Choinière has become a regular for the Impact this season, appearing in 13 matches including starts in five regular season contests. This is Choinière’s first Homegrown Game selection.

Edwin Cerrillo | Midfielder | FC Dallas | Nationality: USA | Born: October 3, 2000
Cerrillo has played in the FC Dallas academy since 2015 before signing a Homegrown Player contract on February 14, 2019. In his first MLS season, Cerrillo has emerged as a regular starter for the club, tallying one assist across 11 appearances, 10 of which are starts. The 18-year-old was part of the United States squad at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup that advanced to the quarterfinals. This is Cerrillo’s first Homegrown Game selection.

Omir Fernandez | Forward | New York Red Bulls | Nationality: USA | Born: February 8, 1999
Fernandez has played in the Red Bulls academy since 2011 at the age of 12. The 20-year-old played two seasons at Wake Forest before signing a Homegrown Player contract with New York on January 26, 2019. In his debut MLS season, Fernandez has been a regular contributor for the Red Bulls, tallying two goals and two assists across 14 regular season matches. Fernandez has represented the United States at the U-18 and U-20 national team levels. This is Fernandez’s first Homegrown Game selection.

Aboubacar Keita | Defender | Columbus Crew SC | Nationality: USA | Born: April 6, 2000
A member of the USA’s 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup squad, Keita signed as a Homegrown Player with Crew SC on Jan. 22, 2019. The 19-year-old center back made his MLS debut on July 3, starting and playing the full 90 minutes against Real Salt Lake. At the U-20 World Cup in Poland, Keita started in all five matches to lead the U.S. into the tournament’s quarterfinal stage. In 2018, Keita was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman Team, helping the University of Virginia to a 10-4-3 overall record and a run to the Third Round of the 2018 NCAA College Cup. This is Keita’s first Homegrown Game selection.

JT Marcinkowski | Goalkeeper | San Jose Earthquakes | Nationality: USA | Born: May 9, 1997
Marcinkowski signed a Homegrown Player contract with San Jose on December 6, 2017 following an impressive college career at Georgetown University. The keeper has also represented the United States at numerous youth national team levels, most recently for the U.S. U-20 National Team at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea. Marcinkowski appeared in five matches for the Earthquakes over the 2018 regular season. This is Marcinkowski’s second Homegrown Game selection.

Erik McCue | Defender | Houston Dynamo | Nationality: Sweden/USA | Born: Jan. 18, 2001
The Onsala, Sweden resident and dual citizen of Sweden and the United States, McCue became the Dynamo’s 10th Academy alum to sign a first-team contract on Oct. 30, 2018. McCue starred for the Dynamo Academy U-17s during the 2017-18 season, playing 25 matches and earning the organization’s Players’ Player of the Year award and the Ricardo Clark Leadership Award. He also represented the Dynamo U-19s in 2018-19. The center back made his professional debut with USL Championship affiliate Rio Grande Valley FC in March of 2019. This is McCue’s first Homegrown Game selection.

Benji Michel | Forward | Orlando City SC | Nationality: USA | Born: October 23, 1997
Born in Orlando, Fla., the hometown Michel joined Orlando City SC’s academy in 2013 before signing a Homegrown Player contract on December 31, 2018. Michel has played in eight matches for Orlando in his first MLS season this year, scoring his first career goal on July 13 against Columbus Crew SC in what would be the game winner. Michel earned a call into the United States U-23 camp in June. The 21-year-old played three seasons at the University of Portland. This is Michel’s first MLS Homegrown Game selection.

David Ochoa | Goalkeeper | Real Salt Lake | Nationality: USA | Born: January 16, 2001
Ochoa signed a Homegrown Player contract with Real Salt Lake on November 28, 2018 and has been with RSL’s academy since 2016. In April 2018, Ochoa became the second-youngest goalkeeper ever to debut in USL play. The 18-year-old represented the United States at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, starting two matches in the team’s march to the quarterfinals of the tournament. This is Ochoa’s first Homegrown Game selection.

Noble Okello | Midfielder | Toronto FC | Nationality: Canada | Born: July 20, 2000
The Toronto native has been part of Toronto FC’s youth system since age 12 and signed as a Homegrown Player on Jan. 22, 2019. Okello has played for Canada’s U-17s through U-23s, and he was a member of the 2017 Concacaf U-17 Championship team and the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship. Most recently, Okello earned his first senior team call-up for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup. Okello made his professional debut with Toronto FC II in October of 2017, and he followed that up with a 22-match 2018 campaign in the United Soccer League. This is Okello’s first Homegrown Game selection.

Justin Rennicks | Forward | New England Revolution | Nationality: USA | Born: June 22, 2000
Rennicks joined the Revolution academy in 2012 before playing at the University of Indiana for two seasons. The 20-year-old signed a Homegrown Player contract on January 18, 2019 and has scored one goal across three overall appearances for the Revolution in his first MLS campaign. Rennicks tallied four goals and six assists in leading the United States to win the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship. At the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Rennicks appeared in four matches and scored the game-winning goal against France in the Round of 16 to push the U.S. to the quarterfinals. This is Rennicks’ first MLS Homegrown Game selection.

Andre Reynolds II | Defender | Chicago Fire | Nationality: USA | Born: May 2, 2001
After four seasons in the Chicago Fire Academy, Reynolds II joined the Fire first team when he signed a Homegrown Player contract on January 25, 2019. The 18-year-old has appeared for the U.S. at numerous levels, most recently participating in the U-19 U.S. Men’s National Team camp in Florida in January. This is Reynolds’ first Homegrown Game selection.

Bryan Reynolds | Defender | FC Dallas | Nationality: USA | Born: June 28, 2001
FC Dallas’ youngest signing at age 15, Reynolds became the organization’s 17th Homegrown Player on Nov. 22, 2016. Reynolds has seen his first regular MLS playing time in 2019, making his league debut in May and garnering his first assist on May 25 in his second MLS match. During his time in FC Dallas’ youth system, Reynolds helped lead the U-16 team to a 2015-16 U.S. Soccer Development Academy crown. The Fort Worth native has also played for the U.S. U-17s during the 2017 Concacaf U-17 Championship. This is Reynolds’ first Homegrown Game selection.

Thomas Roberts | Midfielder | FC Dallas | Nationality: USA | Born: May 11, 2001
Raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, Roberts joined the FC Dallas academy in 2013 before signing a Homegrown Player contract on July 25, 2018. Roberts has appeared in six matches for FC Dallas this season including three starts. The 18-year-old has also appeared in four matches for USL League One side North Texas SC, scoring one goal. This is Roberts’ first Homegrown Game selection.

Brandon Servania | Midfielder | FC Dallas | Nationality: USA | Born: March 12, 1999
Servania joined the FC Dallas academy in 2015 and spent three years with the club before playing one season at Wake Forest. The 20-year-old then signed a Homegrown Player contract with Dallas on January 3, 2018. This season, Servania has notched two assists while playing in seven matches for FC Dallas, including starts in the club’s six most recent regular season contests. Servania represented the United States at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, appearing in four matches and scoring one goal. This is Servania’s first Homegrown Game selection.

Mason Stajduhar | Goalkeeper | Orlando City SC | Nationality: USA | Born: December 2, 1997
Stajduhar signed as the fourth Homegrown Player for Orlando on November 9, 2015 after joining the Orlando City SC academy in 2013. The 21-year-old has represented the United States at multiple youth levels, most recently with the U-20 team. Stajduhar has appeared in 11 matches for Tulsa Roughnecks FC in USL competition this season while on loan. This is Stajduhar’s first Homegrown Game selection.

Sam Vines | Defender | Colorado Rapids | Nationality: USA | Born: May 31, 1999
The Colorado Springs native, who has played for the Rapids system since 2013 as a 13-year-old, has worked his way into a regular starting role for the first team in 2019. Vines signed a Homegrown Player contract on Feb. 23, 2018 and made his MLS debut in October of that year. Thus far in 2019, Vines has started in 11 of 14 appearances while logging 1069 minutes.  Vines was loaned to United Soccer League affiliates the Charlotte Independence in 2018, appearing in 29 games and logging 2,303 minutes. The 20-year-old has also played for the U.S. Youth National Teams from U-14 to U-20. This is Vines’ first Homegrown Game selection.