May 12, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
LOS ANGELES & NEW YORK (Sunday, May 12, 2013) - Alexander Soto, a 14 year-old forward from Elizabeth, NJ has been named the winner of Sue├▒o MLS 2013 - Presented by Allstate, the nationally-televised search for the best young soccer player in the country. He is the youngest player to ever win the competition.
In addition, Luis Aranzazu, 17 years-old goalkeeper from Pembroke Pines, Fla., has won the Allstate "Good Hands┬ę" top goalkeeper - El Portero Allstate. Both players, discovered at the D.C. United open tryouts, have been invited to join an MLS club Academy Team.
The announcement was made today from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., live on Univision Network's Rep├║blica Deportiva, which has chronicled the competition in a "reality show within a show" format.
"Alexander showed great vision and an ability to make a difference on the field," said Sue├▒o MLS mentor/coach and MLS Technical Director, Alfonso Mondelo. "He has the skill to make the last pass or to score, qualities you find in players like [former MLS MVP and FC Dallas midfielder] David Ferreira."
"I'm very proud and will keep chasing my dream of becoming a professional soccer player," said Soto. "I would like to dedicate this award to my family and those that have inspired me and continue to do so."
"Aranzazu is a goalkeeper who works hard and brings serenity to his penalty area with solid positioning, sure hands and a great personality," said Allstate "Good Hands┬ę" top goalkeeper - El Portero Allstate mentor/coach and host of Repubica Deportiva, Felix Fernandez.
The two winners were among the 18 national finalists, including 15 field players and three goalkeepers, who were in Southern California for four days of competition and mentoring by top soccer legends, including former Colombian World Cup playmaker, Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama, former U.S. National World Cup defender, Jeff Agoos, Mondelo and Fernandez. The finalists were chosen from the nearly 3,000 players who registered for the open trials held by D.C. United, Colorado Rapids and LA Galaxy.
Photos of the winners, as well as Sue├▒o MLS - Presented by Allstate photos, b-roll and logos are available at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/j8prkzyruckgzuv/so9rP-R1J7 .
Now in its seventh year, open tryouts for Sue├▒o MLS 2013 - Presented by Allstate were staged by three Major League Soccer teams, including first-time host Colorado Rapids, as well as returning hosts, D.C. United and LA Galaxy. Up to 500 confirmed tryout spots were made available in each city on a first come, first served basis. In each city, five field players were chosen by club scouts to represent the team at the National Finals.
In addition, the Allstate "Good Hands┬ę" top goalkeeper award - El Portero Allstate - was presented for the third consecutive year. One goalkeeper at each of the three local tryouts was selected to compete in the National Finals, and were mentored by Mexican goalkeeping legend and Republica Deportiva co-host, Felix Fernandez.
"At Allstate, 'protection is our game,' which is why we are excited to present this year's 'Good Hands┬ę' award - El Portero Allstate' to the top goalkeeper of the competition, Luis Aranzazu," commented Pam Hollander, Allstate's senior director of sponsorship marketing. "This is the third year that Allstate has recognized an outstanding player with this award, and we look forward to continuing to support and honor youth goalkeepers across the country."
ABOUT THE WINNERS:
Alexander Soto (Midfielder - 14 years-old - Elizabeth, NJ)
Alexander Soto, born December 9, 1998, is the youngest player to ever win Sue├▒o MLS, and the second ever 14 year-old (Houston's Nelson Castro was also 14 when he won in 2010, but was five months younger). Scouts describe him as a player with solid technical skills who has an unbelievable ability to execute free kicks. At the Sue├▒o MLS National Finals in Los Angeles, he scored two goals in two games to lead his squad, one of them on his now characteristic freekicks. Soto's idols are FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi and LA Galaxy's Landon Donovan. His dream is to play for the U.S. Men's National Team. Amongst his long list of soccer accomplishments and championships, Soto was named MVP of Palisades Park High School's varsity team. He is the son of former Colombian midfielder Jose Alex Soto, who played professionally for America de Cali and Deportivo Pereira.
Luis Aranzazu (Goalkeeper - 17 years-old - Pembroke Pines, FL)
Winner of Allstate "Good Hands┬ę" top goalkeeper award - El Portero Allstate
A tall and skillful goalkeeper, the Pembroke Pines, FL resident won the 2013 Allstate "Good Hands┬ę" top goalkeeper award - El Portero Allstate due to his athleticism, hard work and solid performances throughout the competition. A native of Colombia, Aranzazu dreams of becoming a professional soccer player, but before that, he wants to play college soccer and graduate from a four - -year university. Aranzazu's idol is Nice's David Ospina because he became a professional soccer player at the age of 17 for Atletico Nacional, which is also Arazanzu's favorite team. He is also a fan of the Seattle Sounders FC.
SUE=D1O MLS ALL-TIME WINNERS:
Year Name Home Town Position Host Team
2013 Alexander Soto Elizabeth, N.J. Forward D.C. United
2012 Armando Flores Anaheim, Calif. Forward Chivas USA
2011 Birnis Adames Camden, N.J. Forward Philadelphia Union
2010 Nelson Castro Houston, Texas Defender Houston Dynamo
2009 Alberto Lopez Aurora, Ill. Midfielder Chicago Fire
2008* Gabriel Funes Mori Arlington, Texas Forward FC Dallas
2008* Briant Reyes Downey, Calif. Midfielder Chivas USA
2007 Jorge [Flores] Villafa├▒a Anaheim, Calif. Forward Chivas USA
*Co-winners in 2008
Allstate "Good Hands┬ę" top goalkeeper award - El Portero Allstate ALL-TIME WINNERS:
Year Name Home Town Host Team
2013 Luis Aranzazu Pembroke Pines, Fla. D.C. United
2012 Jimmy Camacho Riverside, Calif. Chivas USA
2011 Anthony Hall Dallas, TX FC Dallas