FRISCO - North Texas SC took first place during the inaugural season of USL League One without too much trouble. One of the reasons they were able to do so was because they collected 12 clean sheets, which was the second-best defensive record in the league. One player key to the strong defensive play of North Texas was goalkeeper Carlos Avliez.
Avilez has an extensive past with FC Dallas joining their academy in 2012. He spent a year with Oklahoma City Energy FC. After struggling for playing time, Avilez returned to Frisco and subsequently signed with North Texas SC once the club was formed to be the first-choice keeper.
Avilez has impressed during his first year between the sticks. He was the goalkeeper for nine of the 12 clean sheets North Texas collected, which put him in second place in the race for the golden glove. He is a good shot stopper as well, posting a success rate of 65%, a solidly above average mark.
“It gives me confidence,” Avilez said about his clean sheets. “I wanted to be in the race for the golden glove in the beginning of the year, so the fact I am near the top of the list at the end of the year makes me feel good going into playoffs. I gave myself some individual goals and that was one of them.”
North Texas are usually so dominant that Avilez has to stay aware the entire game, and the Dallas Native is excellent at staying switched on for all 90 minutes. His mental toughness is demonstrated by his 22 clearances, with Avilez very comfortable coming out of his goal to deal with long balls.
Avilez is also excellent with the ball at his feet. He has one of the best passing accuracy marks on the team, with a 93% accuracy with passing in his own half. The keeper can go long as well, with a long ball accuracy of above 50%. Avilez also has the rare trait of being comfortable with both feet, playing over 150 passes with both feet.
“I’m more than just a goalkeeper,” Avilez explained. “I’m an extra player when we have the ball, an option for my teammates to pass to. I have to be prepared to come off my line to help the team out.”
With the playoffs coming up, there is only one thing in the goalkeeper’s mind. “I care more about team victories than any individual awards. At the end of the day, I just want to win.”
As the number one seed in the playoffs, the pressure will be on. But Avilez doesn’t think the pressure will faze him or the team, stating that “I feel like we can finish out strong and prepare ourselves to keep performing at a high level.”
With Avilez guarding their goal, there is good reason to believe they can keep out any opponent they face.