Local Soccer: Betar signs Chilean defender Alvarez

Betar Jerusalem added another piece to its 2007/08 squad on Sunday, signing 27-year-old Chilean Christian Alvarez from Universidad Católica de Chile. Alvarez is expected to start at the right back position for the reigning champion, with Yoav Ziv likely moving to the left side of defense. "Alvarez is a player of the highest level," team manager Giora Spiegel said on Sunday. "He's a superb professional and we have heard many good things about him. We hope he will help us fulfill Betar Jerusalem's goals in the coming season." Alvarez began his career at Universidad Católica and played with Betar's Chilean midfielder Milovan Mirosevic, who has still yet to renew his contract with the club. He moved to Catolica after spending two years at Argentinian giant River Plate. The defender has made 16 appearances for Chile, but was not in the team's squad for this year's Copa America. He will have to pass a medical test this week before the deal is completed. The Betar squad returned from its first training camp of the summer in Holland on Sunday. The team will have a few days break before leaving for another camp in Austria later this month.