May 3, 2010 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
CARSON, Calif. (Monday, May 3, 2010) - Following three regional tryouts in Houston, Chicago and Los Angeles, where more than 1,500 youth players ages 14-18 showcased their skills in front of MLS youth team scouts, only 15 standouts remain for the "Final Event" of Sueño MLS 2010 - built by The Home Depot, the nationally-televised player search showcased on "República Deportiva," the popular Univision weekly Spanish-language sports show that chronicles the tryouts in a "reality show within a show" format.
Major League Soccer and the LA Galaxy announced today the names of the five talented prospects that will join the finalists from the Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo to represent the team later this week at the "Final Event," being filmed in Los Angeles.
The five West Coast standouts are:
Name Position Age Hometown
Dennis Alvarado Right Midfielder 16 Fairfield, CA
Javier Castro Right Forward 18 Pomona, CA
Victor Jimenez Left Forward 16 Anaheim, CA
Jonathan Navas Left Back 18 Los Angeles, CA
Oscar Velazquez Midfielder 14 Las Vegas, NV
The five players, whose personal stories were featured on "República Deportiva" this past Sunday, fought their way past more than 400 competitors in an open tryout to become one of ten local finalists, and endured a week of training with the Galaxy\'s Youth Academy.
Entering its fourth year, Sueño MLS 2010 - built by The Home Depot, included three local tryouts in Houston, Chicago and Los Angeles (LA Galaxy) during the first three weeks of April 2010. Ultimately, five standouts from each city (15 players in total) received invitations to an exciting five-day "Final Event" in Los Angeles. The finals will include training sessions, scrimmages, guest celebrity scouts, and an opportunity to meet some of the League\'s biggest stars. The Sueño MLS champion will be crowned live on Sunday, May 9, on "República Deportiva." A complete schedule of media events related to the finals will be released Wednesday, May 7.
MLS sponsors participating in Sueño MLS 2010 - Built by The Home Depot, include The Home Depot, Volkswagen and Degree Men.
ABOUT THE LA GALAXY FINALISTS:
Dennis Alvarado, midfielder, 16 - Fairfield, CA
A 16-year-old Northern California-native, Denis is a player of Salvadorian decent who is very fast and agile. He can play almost any position on the field, but was at his best on the wings.
Javier Castro, forward, 18 - Pomona, CA
Javier is considered by scouts to be the most technical player of the five finalists. The Pomona-native of Mexican heritage was lethal during the open tryouts and during his week-long tryout with the Galaxy, rarely wasting an opportunity to put the ball in the back of the net.
Victor Jimenez, forward, 16 - Anaheim, CA
Coming off an impressive junior year in high school, Victor is the third Sueño MLS finalist to hail from the city of Anaheim and second in as many years. The Mexican-American follows in the footsteps of 2007 Sueño MLS winner Jorge Flores and 2009 finalist Cesar Silva, both of whom where forwards as well. The scouts consider Victor to be one of the more interesting talents in the finals, given that he has never played club soccer before. At Anaheim Savanna High School this past season, Victor was named All-CIF Division III First Team in March.
Jonathan Navas, midfielder, 18 - Los Angeles, CA
Jonathan is an offensive talent that can play either on the wings or in the middle of the field. The scouts were most impressed by the Salvadorian\'s versatility and ability to dribble and distribute the ball. Born in San Salvador, Jonathan plays for Los Angeles High School, the oldest public high school in Southern California.
Oscar Velazquez, defender, 14 - Las Vegas, NV
Oscar is the youngest of the five players selected by the Galaxy scouts. Despite his age, scouts consider the Las Vegas-native to be a very technical player that can strike the ball with either foot. Las Vegas has produced some of the best prospects in Sueño MLS history, including 2009 Sueño MLS finalist Javier Rodriguez and 2008 Sueño MLS finalist Daniel Sanchez. Oscar, who is of Mexican descent, lists LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan as his favorite player.
Photos of the five Los Angeles-area finalists are available at the MLS FTP: ftp://ftp.mlsnet.com - User name: mlsphoto / Password: ml$ph@t@. Video also available by request.
Chicago Top 5 Finalists (previously announced):
Below is the list of the five players who have been selected to represent the Chicago Fire at the "Final Event" in Los Angeles May 5-9.
Name Position Age Hometown
Oscar Barraza Right Midfielder 16 Elgin, IL
Juan Celleri Forward 15 Chicago, IL
Vicente Jaramillo Forward 16 Detroit, MI
Erick Jimenez Left Back 15 Chicago, IL
Miguel Moncada Forward 18 Jackson, TN
Houston Top 5 Finalists (previously announced):
Below is the list of the five players who have been selected to represent the Houston Dynamo at the "Final Event" in Los Angeles May 5-9.
Name Position Age Hometown
Nelson Castro Center Def. 14 Houston, TX
Juan Contreras Left Mid. 16 Dickinson, TX
Eric Martinez Forward 15 Houston, TX
Marco Ortiz Center Mid. 15 Crowley, TX
Lorenzo Salazar Center Mid. 15 Houston, TX
April 3-4 Local market tryouts (Houston Dynamo @ USA Park)
April 10-11 Local market tryouts (Chicago Fire @ Montrose Park)
April 17-18 Local market tryouts (LA Galaxy @ Glendale Sports Complex)
April 18 Houston trials featured and Top 5 announced on República Deportiva
April 25 Chicago trials featured and Top 5 announced on República Deportiva
May 2 Los Angeles trials featured and Top 5 announced on República Deportiva
May 5-9 "Final Event" in LA
May 9 Announcement of winner on República Deportiva
Eligible players must be between the ages of 14 and 18 years old (with appropriate identification) and retain their amateur status. Current collegiate student athletes will not be permitted to attend the final event in Los Angeles. 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 fifteen (15) participants selected to attend the final event in Los Angeles, CA. For more information, please visit www.SuenoMLS.com. Participation in the event is free. Players may not register for more than one city.