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Forward Armando Flores, 17, of Santa Ana, Calif. Wins Sueño MLS 2012 – Presented by Allstate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts:
Gabe Gabor, MLS Communications, 917/364-2755 or gabe.gabor@MLSsoccer.com
Laura Strykowski, Allstate, 847.402.5600, Laura.Strykowski@allstate.com
 
Forward Armando Flores, 17, of Santa Ana, Calif. Wins
Sueño MLS 2012 – Presented by Allstate
 
Goalkeeper Jimmy Camacho, 16, of Riverside, Calif. captures national
Allstate “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper award - El Portero Allstate
 
CARSON, Calif. (Sunday, May 13, 2012) – Forward Armando Flores, 17, from Santa Ana, Calif. today was named winner of Sueño MLS 2012 – presented by Allstate, the nationally-televised soccer search for the best undiscovered youth talent in the country.  Flores has been invited to join the Chivas USA youth academy program.
 
In addition, Jimmy Camacho, 16, from Riverside, Calif. was awarded the national winner of the “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper award - El Portero Allstate, a parallel competition created to discover the nation’s top netminder.  Camacho will also join the Chivas USA youth academy.
 
Coincidentally, Camacho and Flores were both born at Santa Ana Hospital and played on the same youth soccer teams.
                                                                                                                  
The two winners were revealed in front of a national television audience during a live broadcast of Univision’s popular weekly Spanish-language sports entertainment show,República Deportiva, which chronicled the tryouts in a “reality show within a show” format. 
 
Nearly 2,000 aspiring young soccer players competed in open tryouts over the past 45 days at FC Dallas, Seattle Sounders FC and Chivas USA, but only 18 regional winners gathered in Carson, Calif. last week hoping to impress celebrity scouts at the “Final Event.”
 
Under the guidance of MLS Argentine soccer legend Guillermo Barros Schelotto, former MLS and US National Team standout Jeff Agoos, and distinguished MLS head coach Alfonso Mondelo, the “Final Event” featured two scrimmages against LA Galaxy Academy teams, tactical and motivational lectures by current and former professional players, and a private meet-and-greet with Chivas USA stars.  El Portero Allstate was mentored by Mexican goalkeeping legend Adolfo Rios, along with former Mexico star, Felix Fernandez.
 
Flores, who recorded two goals and an assist in two games during the “Final Event,” shares a number of remarkable similarities with first-year winner and current Chivas USA star Jorge Flores (now Jorge Villafaña).  Both players hailed from Orange County, Calif. and were discovered at the Sueño MLS Chivas USA trials.  Villafaña and Flores were also both 17 year-old forwards who walked on to the competition before they won.
 
“Armando impressed us with his speed, skill, vision, courage to go at players one-on-one, solid passing and finishing,” said Mondelo.
 
“It was an amazing feeling when they announced my name,” said Flores.  “I want to follow in Jorge Villafaña’s footsteps, and hopefully I’ll become a pro just like him.  This is step one to fulfill my dreams.”
 
“Jimmy has the personality to organize his team on the field and effectively communicate with his defense while absorbing the pressure of a game,” said Rios.  “He shows good reflexes, is explosive and has good control of the penalty area.” 
 
“This is a dream.  It’s in the name, ‘Sueño’,” said Camacho.  “I’m going to work hard now with Chivas USA and not settle.  I’m going to step up my game with this opportunity I have.”   
 
About Armando Flores (17, Santa Ana, Calif.)
 
Flores is a speedy forward who can also play as an attacking midfielder.  No stranger to high-profile trials, the Santa Ana High School student trained for four months with the Club Atlas (Mexico) reserves after being spotted at a tryout in his hometown.  Armando made the Sueño MLS national “Final Event’ despite having to register for the waiting list after all guaranteed spots were filled. When he got the call that he was advancing he said he “felt my dreams were coming true.”  Flores considers Chivas USA one of his favorite teams and his favorite players include Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta.
 
About Jimmy Camacho (16, Riverside, Calif.)
National winner of Allstate “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper award – El Portero Allstate
 
Camacho’s Sueño MLS experience might be unlike any other.  Discovered at the Chivas USA regional tryouts, the charismatic Citrus Hill High School standout recently lost one of his teammates and friends to lung cancer.  “I felt that throughout the tryouts, he was with me in spirit, pushing me to do my best.” The wild-haired netminder lists goalkeepers Guillermo Ochoa and Victor Valdez among his favorite players and the LA Galaxy as his favorite MLS club.      
 
SUEÑO MLS ALL-TIME WINNERS:
 
Year     Name                           Home Town                  Position           Host Team
2012     Armando Flores            Santa Ana, CA              Forward            Chivas USA
2011     Birnis Adames               Camden, NJ                  Forward            Philadelphia Union
2010     Nelson Castro               Houston, TX                  Defender          Houston Dynamo
2009     Alberto Lopez              Aurora, Ill                      Midfielder         Chicago Fire
2008*    Gabriel Funes Mori        Arlington, TX                 Forward            FC Dallas
2008*    Briant Reyes                 Downey, CA                  Midfielder         Chivas USA
2007     Jorge [Flores] Villafaña     Anaheim, CA                 Forward            Chivas USA
*Co-winners in 2008
 
Allstate “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper award – El Portero Allstate ALL-TIME WINNERS:
 
Year     Name                           Home Town                  Host Team
2012     Jimmy Camacho           Riverside, CA                Chivas USA
2011     Anthony Hall                 Dallas, TX                     FC Dallas
 
Sueño MLS 2012 – presented by Allstate TIMELINE
April 14-15                            Local market tryouts (FC Dallas)
April 21-22                          Local market tryouts (Seattle Sounders FC)                                    
April 28-29                          Local market tryouts (Chivas USA)              
May 9-13                             National Finals in Los Angeles
May 13                               Announcement of winner on República Deportiva
 
PARTICIPANT ELIGIBILITY:
Eligible players must be males between the ages of 14 and 18 years old (born between dates of April 13, 1998 and May 14, 1994) with appropriate identification and retain their amateur status. Current collegiate student athletes will not be permitted to attend the final event in Carson, Calif.  Sueño MLS participants will be responsible for all personal expenses associated with the local market tryout, including travel to local tryouts, lodging, food, soccer equipment (shoes, training gear, etc.), etc. Program sponsors will cover all expenses for eighteen (18) participants selected to attend the final event in Carson, Calif. For more information, please visit www.SueñoMLS.com.  Participation in the event is free.  Players may not register for more than one city.
 
About Allstate
The Allstate Corporation(NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households through its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names. Widely known by its slogan “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®,” Allstate offers insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives, as well as via www.allstate.comand 1-800 Allstate®. As part of Allstate’s commitmentto strengthen local communities, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate employees, agency owners and the corporation provided $28 million in 2011 to thousands of nonprofit organizations and important causes across the United States.