CF Pachuca managed to grab a win against 14th-placed Club Necaxa on the fourth matchday of the Liga MX Clausura. The hosts set up in a possession-based, attacking 4-2-3-1 and tried to put pressure on their opponents early. They managed to create several opportunities through the right flank with right-back Kevin Alvarez but in the end, they needed a good header and penalty to get the 2-0 lead. Facundo Batista of Club Necaxa pulled one back in the last minute, but it wasn’t enough to salvage a draw for Club Necaxa.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Mexican
- Age: 24
- Date of birth: 15/01/1999
- Club: Pachuca
- Career: Pachuca
- Position: Right-Back
- Preferred foot: Right
Kevin Alvarez started as a right-back for Pachuca in the match against Club Necaxa. The 24-year-old stands at 1.75 meters with an average build. Álvarez did not seem the strongest in shoulder-to-shoulder duels but held his own in other physical duels. The Mexican international has great bursts of speed both with and without the ball. He is capable of maintaining that speed over long distances and poses a real threat to the opponent. Alvarez is pretty agile and changes directions quickly, especially because he has quite a low centre of gravity. Even though Alvarez is pretty small, he won most of his aerial duels because of his excellent jumping reach, bravery and timing in aerial duels. Alvarez has very good mobility and balance. Defensively, Kevin Álvarez did not get tested that much. However, he sometimes did not transition quickly from attacking to defending.
The defender received the ball under pressure pretty often close to the touchline and had very mixed results. Overall, he looked decent technically but he struggled to control the ball under pressure and always needed two or even more touches to control the ball. This is a sign that he potentially would struggle at a higher level, as he also sometimes struggled to keep the ball close to him while carrying the ball forward. Though, Alvarez displayed excellent ability in the final third with great vision and crossing technique. He found his teammates in the box quite often and created a few chances in this game. His short and medium-long passing is decent but he lost possession unnecessarily a couple of times this game. Kevin Alvarez was often involved in first-phase build-up and he managed to find runners in behind a couple of times with good through passes. In the midfield third, he also sometimes played in an inverted role but he struggled to really pose a threat from that area.
Rating – A1
Kevin Alvarez is rumoured to make a move to fellow Mexican club CF America, which would be a waste of his talent. With that being said, I think he has the level to be a squad player for Conference League teams in the top 5 leagues.
- Nationality: Mexican
- Age: 27
- Date of birth: 15/01/1996
- Club: Pachuca
- Career: Pachuca, Tijuana, Pachuca
- Position: Defensive Midfield
- Secondary position: Centre Midfield
- Preferred foot: Left
Luis Chavez played as a central midfielder in a midfield three for Pachuca. In possession, Chavez usually tried to move into space between the lines but his lack of intensity, speed and possibly vision restricted him from moving into good areas between the lines. The Mexican international played at a very low tempo but spread the play well. He has a very good kicking technique, but he did not really display an extensive passing range throughout this match. However, I think he should be capable of playing more risky long passes. The midfielder did well to often scan, allowing him to move away from the opponent. Luis Chavez did almost everything with his left foot and made a big error on his own half with his right foot which resulted in a big chance for Club Necaxa.
The midfielder did not progress play that much through passing, since most of his passes were sideways. He occasionally tried to carry the ball into midfield but struggled to do so since he displayed a lack of speed and dribbling ability. Chavez struggled to control the ball while dribbling. The Mexican international got an assist in the first half after he received the ball in the right half-space. From that position, he is really dangerous with some good inswinging crosses. Chavez managed to create several opportunities from set-pieces. Defensively, Chavez did not always position himself that well as he did not always cut passing lanes. He lacked the speed to compensate for his lack of defensive positioning and could get caught off guard against stronger opponents. Chavez stands at only 1.78 meters but looks to have a strong frame. However, he did not quite have the timing and jumping reach to win aerial duels.
Rating – B1
Luis Chavez is nearing an age where he should probably stay in the Mexican league for the remainder of his career. Many European clubs looking for a good defensive or central midfielder will look at different options than Luis Chavez.