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Sueño MLS “Top 18” already in Dallas area for “Final Event” of Sueño MLS 2011 – presented by Allstate

Sueño MLS “Top 18” already in Dallas area for “Final Event” of Sueño MLS 2011 – presented by Allstate

 

Local finalists from FC Dallas, Chicago Fire and Philadelphia Union converge on Pizza Hut Park in hopes of winning nationally-televised national player search 

 

NEW YORK (Thursday, May 5, 2011) – Their backgrounds are as diverse as a United Nations general assembly, but their soccer skills have brought them together for a shot at glory. They outlasted, outran and outplayed nearly 1,200 other young soccer players to make it to the “Final Event” of Sueño MLS 2011 – presented by Allstate, the nationally-televised player search on “República Deportiva,” the popular Univision weekly Spanish-language sports show that chronicles the event in a “reality show within a show” format.

 

The 18 standouts, qualifiers from open tryouts at FC Dallas, Chicago Fire and Philadelphia Union, arrived in the Dallas area yesterday for four days of training, expert coaching, motivational presentations and scrimmages, leading to the live announcement of the national winners this Sunday, May 8 on República Deportiva (1 p.m. ET).  The 15 field players will be battling for the title of Sueño MLS 2011 champion and an invitation to his host club’s elite youth team, while the three goalkeepers will be gunning for the national “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper - El Portero Allstate award.

 

Leading the Sueño MLS “Final Event” coaching, scouting and judging efforts again this year is Alfonso Mondelo, the former Major League Soccer head coach and current Technical Director of Player Development and Scouting for MLS.  Mondelo is joined by a team of soccer superstars, including U.S. National Team and MLS legend Marcelo Balboa, Mexican icon Joaquin Beltran and former Mexican National Team goalkeeper Adolfo Rios.

 

Highlights of the “Final Event” include two scrimmages with FC Dallas youth teams, a private post-training get-together with FC Dallas players and a chance to train at Pizza Hut Park, one of the premier soccer facilities in the world.  All events (see schedule below) are open to the media. 

 

Now celebrating its fifth year, Sueño MLS 2011 – presented by Allstatewas staged by three MLS clubs, including first-time host, Philadelphia Union, as well as returning hosts Chicago Fire and FC Dallas.  In each city, players were vying for one of six invitations to a week-long trial with their respective youth development host club and an invitation to the exciting four-day “Final Event” at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas.

 

Since its inception in 2007, Sueño MLS has given thousands of talented young athletes a chance to showcase their skills and impress youth development scouts.  The original winner, forward Jorge Flores of Anaheim, Calif., is now entering his fifth year with MLS’ Chivas USA.  He also represented the United States Under-20 National Team at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. The 2008 FC Dallas Sueño MLS winner, Gabriel Funes Mori, played with the FC Dallas U-18 team before moving on to Argentina’s legendary side River Plate, and later starred on the Argentine Under-20 National Team.  The 2010 winner, Nelson Castro, is currently one of the leaders and an outstanding player for the Houston Dynamo’s U-16 team.

 

Success stories are not limited to Sueño MLS winners.  Many players who were first seen at Sueño MLS trials are invited to join MLS academy teams.  Ruben Luna, one of FC Dallas’ homegrown signings, was a Sueño MLS participant in 2008.

 

MLS partners participating in Sueño MLS 2011– presented by Allstate,include adidas, Degree Men, Gatorade, Pepsi and Volkswagen.

 

 

SUEÑO MLS 2011 ‘FINAL EVENT” SCHEDULE (all times local CT)

 

Wednesday, May 4:

  • Players arrived throughout the day; met with celebrity judges/scouts

 

Thursday, May 5:

10:30 a.m.         Training at Pizza Hut Park

11:30 a.m.         Visit to FC Dallas first team training session at Pizza Hut Park

5:00 p.m.          Training at Pizza Hut Park

 

Friday, May 6

9:30 a.m. -        Training at Pizza Hut Park

5:45 p.m.          Scrimmage vs. FC Dallas U-18s at Pizza Hut Park

 

Saturday, May 7

Noon               Scrimmage vs. FC Dallas U-16s at Pizza Hut Park

 

Sunday, May 8

1 p.m. (ET)        Live broadcast and announcement of winners on Univision’s República Deportiva at Pizza Hut Park

 

 

“TOP 18” BIOS:

 

Birnis Adames (Forward - 18 years old - Camden, NJ) – Philadelphia Union

Born in Santa Cruz de Mao, Dominican Republic, Adames started playing soccer only four years ago.  At the Philadelphia trials, he quickly caught the attention of the Union scouts who regard him as one of the best prospects in the competition. The Ronaldinho and FC Barcelona fan is an outstanding athlete whose speed makes him one of the players to watch during the “Final Event” in Texas. His older brother, Chanel, played for the Dominican Republic’s Under-17 National Team, and was a key factor in Adames’ decision to change his focus from baseball to soccer. The Union coaches commented that Adames reminded them of New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry because of his vision on the field.

 

Franco Alcocer (Midfielder – 17 years old – Melrose Park, MI) – Chicago Fire

Born in Córdoba, Argentina, Alcocer moved to the United States when he was only ten years-old. He attends the Provisol Math & Science Academy and his favorite subject is math. Alcocer’s favorite team is Argentina’s Boca Jrs. and his favorite player is midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme. He is the first in his family to ever play soccer, although they are all very passionate soccer fans. Alcocer has a keen ability to spread the ball around the field, which according to the Chicago Fire Academy coaches has allowed him to become a natural playmaker.

 

Richy Amador (Midfielder – 18 years old - Santa Rosa, CA) – Philadelphia Union

Born in Mexico City and a current resident of Santa Rosa, CA, Amador had to catch two flights to attend the Philadelphia event.  The Union coaches selected him because of his impressive dribbling, which made him one of the most exceptional midfielders at the tryouts. Amador uses pink cleats to help attract the attention of the scouts.

 

Ian Chacón (Goalkeeper – 14 years old – Cicero, IL)Local Chicago Fire winner of El Portero Allstate “In Good Hands®

Chacónwas recognized as the top goalkeeper at the Chicago Fire local try-outs, and will compete for the national El Portero Allstate “In Good Hands®”award. Born in Coahuila, Mexico, the 14 year old is a tall goalkeeper who uses his height as an advantage. Chacon currently studies at Unity Junior High School, and belongs to a family of amateur goalkeepers. His favorite player is Spanish World Cup champion Iker Casillas, and believes that one day he will join him as part of the soccer elite. Although shy, Chacónstands out once he puts on the gloves and vocally manages a team’s defense. The most impressive aspects of his game, according to the coaches, are his ability to distribute the ball to anywhere on the field, and his composure when facing a 1-on-1 with older forwards.

 

Juan Cortez (Midfielder - 15 years old - Bridgeport, CT) – Philadelphia Union

Cortez was born in Santa Rosa de Osos, Colombia (north of Medellin), and currently resides in Bridgeport, CT.  The midfielder in Philadelphia not only stood for his abilities in the midfield, but for being a humble individual who is willing to help his teammates. Coached by his father from a young age, their dedication paid off as the scouts caught Cortez’s ability to place dangerous crosses, as well as recover balls in the midfield.  His favorite player is Spanish World Cup champion Xavi, and his favorite club is FC Barcelona.

 

Reyes Espino (Midfielder - 15 years-old – Pharr, TX) – FC Dallas

Among the six FC Dallas finalists, Espino is the one who traveled the farthest to make his dream come true. From Pharr, Texas – approximately 10 hours from Frisco (home of FC Dallas) – Espino is a creative midfielder, who during the tryouts made very good decisions on the ball and showed great vision on the field.

 

Brian García (Center Midfielder – 13 years-old – Dallas, TX) – FC Dallas

García was born in Querétaro, Mexico, and started playing soccer at the age of six. He goes to Frankford Middle School, and despite his age, he left a big impression with the FC Dallas scouts. His father, Alberto “El Guamerú” García, played professionally for Mexican clubs Monterrey and Chivas, while also suiting-up for the Mexican National Team. According to FC Dallas Academy coaches, García reminds them of former FC Dallas Colombian Midfielder Juan Toja. He has great skill with both feet. NOTE: Brian was born in 1997 and will turn 14 this year, making him eligible to participate.

 

Anthony Hall (Goalkeeper – 16 years-old– Dallas, TX)Local FC Dallas winner of Allstate “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper award – El Portero Allstate

Hall was recognized as the best goalkeeper at the FC Dallas local tryouts, and is competing for the Allstate “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper award at the national “Final Event”.  A student at Bryan Adams High School, Hall once managed to stop four penalty kicks during the final match of a youth championship, allowing his team to win the competition. A tall and very vocal goalkeeper, his ability to lead and organize the defense from his goal impressed the scouting group.  Hall reached the local semifinals of Sueño MLS Houston in 2010.

 

José Hernández (Center Forward – 15 years-old – Dallas, TX) – FC Dallas

Born in Mexico, Hernández is a tall center-forward who during the FC Dallas trials was a constant threat in the attack. He started playing soccer at the age of five and currently attends Thomas Jefferson High School. He regularly plays against older youth players and adults, who admire his scoring abilities and dribbling skills. Hernández is a natural goal-scorer, and possesses outstanding technical ability.

 

Vicente Jaramillo (Forward – 16 years old – Detroit, MI) – Chicago Fire

A national finalist of Sueño MLS 2010, Jaramillo was one of the players that stood out in the rain and wind during the first day of scrimmages in Chicago. The forward currently attends Western International High School and has been playing soccer since the age of six. The Detroit, Michigan product considers Argentinean international and Barcelona midfielder Lionel Messi his favorite player, however, when it comes to his favorite club, Jaramillo prefers Real Madrid. His skills with the ball in a reduced space made him one of the best forwards at the tryouts. His mother Blanca played amateur soccer since she was seven, and pushed him to try out for Sueño MLS 2011.

 

Gianluigi Mardoni (Goalkeeper – 17 years old - Sacramento, CA)- Local Philadelphia Union winner of El Portero Allstate “In Good Hands®

Mardoni was the participant who traveled the furthest to tryout at Sueño MLS Philadelphia, following a cross country trip from Sacramento. Born in Rome, Italy, Gianluigi’s father is Italian, and his mother is Colombian. They moved to the U.S. when Mardoni was six years-old, and he started playing soccer immediately. Many of his Italian and Colombian cousins have played in semi-professional leagues in their respective countries, and Mardoni’s father (a professional racing car mechanic) had a similar experience to Sueño MLS many years ago with Italian side Fiorentina. Since he was very young, the goalkeeper knew he was destined to become a goalkeeper, because of his height and vertical leap. Faryd Mondragón, Philadelphia Union captain and goalkeeper, said he chose Mardoni as the top goalkeeper of the Union tryouts because of his impressive skills with his hands, feet and body movement. Mardoni speaks fluent English, Spanish and Italian.

 

Giovanni Moreno (Sweeper - 14 years-old – Fort Worth, TX) – FC Dallas

Moreno was the second youngest player at the FC Dallas tryouts, but made an impact with his height. What struck the coaches most was his ability to play well at several different positions, and his ability to play with both feet. He attends Morningside Middle School, and according to Moreno, Sueño MLS is the biggest thing that has ever happened to him.

 

Kevin Olaya (Midfielder – 16 years old - Elizabeth, NJ) – Philadelphia Union

Olaya was born in Elizabeth, NJ to a Colombian family, and lived in Cali, Colombia since he was one year old. A fan of Colombian side America de Cali and Argentine club Boca Juniors, Olaya believes Andres Iniesta is the best player in the world, and sees himself playing in Major League Soccer in the future. The Philadelphia Union scouts think he is a player who can easily work as a center midfielder, but has the ability to run through the flanks, creating more spaces for his team. He traveled to the trials with his father, who believes his son is a talented soccer player who will make a great impression at the National Final.

 

Anthony Ortega (Center Midfielder – 16 years-old – Dallas, TX) – FC Dallas

Ortega stood out for his enthusiasm during the trials. FC Dallas scouts noted his intelligence on the pitch and ability in the air. He was widely recognized as the top defensive midfielder at the FC Dallas tryouts. Ortega plays varsity soccer for Woodrow Wilson High School and indoor soccer for a local club.

 

Milton Rico (Midfielder – 18 years old - Philadelphia, PA) – Philadelphia Union

Colombian-born Rico didn’t originally register for the tryouts, but rather, was part of the event staff working for Sueño MLS in Philadelphia.  A former coach and friend spotted him at the event and encouraged him to sign up for the “walk-up” list.  He played during the last hour of the tryouts, immediately catching the scouting group’s attention. Although he hadn’t played for the past six months because of broken nose, Rico stood out for his strength and vision of the game. His favorite player is former Colombian international and MLS superstar Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama, and his favorite team is  Atletico Nacional (Colombia).

 

Javier Rojas (Midfielder – 15 years old – Warrenville, IL) – Chicago Fire

Rojas is a fan of Mexican club Chivas Guadalajara and his favorite player is Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. According to the Chicago Fire scouts, he positions himself well, moving fluidly throughout the midfield and is capable of helping in the attack. Rojas attends Wheaton Warrenville South High School and loves to spend time with his family, especially when soccer is part of the day’s activities.

 

Juan Salgado (Forward- 17 years old – Melrose Park, IL) – Chicago Fire

Salgado was spotted by the Chicago Fire scouts in the afternoon of the first day of tryouts, and immediately caught the coaches’ attention. This lethal striker scored four goals in only 20 minutes during the second and final day of his local tryouts. His favorite player is Lionel Messi and his favorite clubs are FC Barcelona and the Chicago Fire. Salgado plays for the Chicago Fire Juniors, attends Provisol East, and is friends with Franco Alcocer, another Chicago Fire Sueño MLS finalist. One of his uncles played in the Mexican third division.

 

Christian Soto (Midfielder – 15 years old– Indianapolis, IN) – Chicago Fire

Soto is a talented playmaker who lists Lionel Messi as his favorite player. He also admires Mexican player Cuauhtémoc Blanco, and became a fan of the Chicago Fire when Blanco played for the team. The Center Grove High School student stood out from the rest of the Chicago Sueño participants for his amazing abilities to deliver pin-point passes to his teammates and put them in a position to score. Soto’s father played professionally in Mexico.

 

 

“TOP” 18 FINALISTS BY TRYOUT MARKET

 

FC DALLAS FINALISTS

 

 

Name

Position

Age

Hometown

Reyes Espino

Midfielder

15

Pharr, TX

Brian Garcia

Center Mid.

13

Dallas, TX

Jose Hernandez

Center Forward

15

Dallas, TX

Giovanni Moreno

Defender

14

Fort Worth, TX

Anthony Ortega

Center Mid.

16

Dallas, TX

Anthony Hall

Goalkeeper

16

Dallas, TX

 

CHICAGO FIRE FINALISTS

 

Name

Position

Age

Hometown

Franco Alcocer

Midfielder

17

Melrose Park, IL

Vicente Jaramillo

Forward

16

Detroit, MI

Javier Rojas

Midfielder

15

Warrenville, IL

Juan Salgado

Forward

17

Melrose Park, IL

Chrsitian Soto

Midfielder

15

Indianapolis, IN

Ian Chacon

Goalkeeper

14

Cicero, IL

PHILADELPHIA UNION FINALISTS

 

Name

Position

Age

Hometown

Birnis Adames

Forward

18

Camden, NJ

Richy Amador

Midfielder

18

Santa Rosa, CA

Juan Cortez

Midfielder

15

Bridgeport, CT

Kevin Olaya

Midfielder

16

Elizabeth, NJ

Milton Rico

Midfielder

18

Philadelphia, PA

Gianluigi Mardoni

Goalkeeper

17

Sacramento, CA

2011 TIMELINE

April 9-10                            Local market tryouts (FC Dallas)

April 16-17                          Local market tryouts (Chicago Fire)                                    

April 23-24                          Local market tryouts (Philadelphia Union)              

May 5-8                              “Final Event” in Frisco, Texas

May 8                                 Announcement of winner on Univision Network’s República Deportiva

 

PARTICIPANT ELIGIBILITY:

Eligible players must be between the ages of 14 and 18 years-old at the time of the competition or born in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, or 1997 with appropriate identification and retain their amateur status. Current collegiate student athletes will not be permitted to attend the final event in Frisco, Texas.  Sueño MLS participants will be responsible for all personal expenses associated with the local market tryout, including travel to local tryouts, lodging, food, and soccer equipment (shoes, training gear, etc.). Program sponsors will cover all expenses for up to eighteen (18) participants selected to attend the final event in Frisco, Texas. For more information, please visit www.SuenoMLS.com.  Participation in the event is free.  Players may not register for more than one city.

PAST WINNERS:

Year     Name                           Home Town                  Position           Host Team

2007     Jorge Flores                 Anaheim, CA                 Forward            Chivas USA

2008*    Gabriel Funes Mori        Arlington, TX                 Forward            FC Dallas

2008*    Briant Reyes                 Downey, CA                  Midfielder         Chivas USA

2009     AlbertoLopez                 Aurora, Ill                      Midfielder         Chicago Fire

2010     Nelson Castro               Houston, TX                  Defender          Houston Dynamo

*Co-winners in 2008

 

www.SuenoMLS.com