LA Galaxy II sign Mexico youth Avalos, 16, to professional contract

MexicoUnder-17 international Miguel Avalos has signed a professional contract with LA Galaxy II of the USL Championship, the player has confirmed to ESPN.

After attending a showcase held in 2018 by Alianza de Futbol, Avalos, 16, was signed by Liga MX side Pachuca. But Avalos, a native of Santa Rosa, Calif., was unable to play in games due to FIFA rules prohibiting players under the age of 18 from moving to a different country purely for soccer purposes.Now another door to professional soccer has opened with the Galaxy II.

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"It's very exciting, because I was in Pachuca for about a year and unfortunately, I wasn't able to play because of the FIFA rule," Avalos said in an exclusive interview with ESPN. "So, moving out here to LA, it's amazing being able to play, and I'm excited to play this season."

Avalos, who projects as a two-way midfielder, has been training with Los Dos [LA Galaxy II]since last July, giving him some time to adapt to the increased physicality that comes with playing against older players. The presence of Galaxy director of methodology Juan Carlos Ortega, who was previously involved with Mexico's youth national teams, provided an additional boost.

"It hasn't been easy, but at the same time it's also really good playing with older players, a lot more experienced players," Avalos said. "It's gonna help me develop as a player, not only on the field, off the field as well."

Avalos' move to the Galaxy organization was hampered by the fact that Sacramento Republic held the player's MLS Homegrown rights. But with Sacramento's expansion bid on indefinite hold following the withdrawal of lead investor Ron Burkle, as well as the fact that LA Galaxy II is technically under the auspices of the USL, allowed the player to move under the Galaxy umbrella.

As a dual national, Avalos has the chance to represent either Mexico or the U.S., but at the moment he's firmly in the Mexico camp.

"It's not an easy decision," he said of his international future. "The U.S., they haven't reached out to me, not yet. But if it comes down to it, and I had to make a decision, I'd have to talk to my family about that."

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