Chicago finalists announced for Sueño MLS 2011 "Final Event"

CHICAGO – Major League Soccer and The Chicago Fire announced today the names of five talented young field players who will represent the club at the national “Final Event” of Sueño MLS 2011 – presented by Allstate in Frisco, Texas May 5-8.Also named was the local finalist of the “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper - El Portero Allstate. The nationally-televised player search is showcased on “República Deportiva,” the popular Univision weekly Spanish-language sports show that chronicles the tryouts in a “reality show within a show” format.

The six standouts from Fire tryouts are:

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
Christian Soto Midfielder 15 Indianapolis, IN
Ian Chacon Goalkeeper 14 Cicero, IL

The five field 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 earn a week-long trial with the Chicago Fire Academy, and a trip to the “Final Event,” where they will be joined by the FC Dallas finalists announced last week (names below), and the Philadelphia Union finalist yet to be selected. Chacon, selected as the local Chicago Fire “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper - El Portero Allstate, also trained with the Fire Academy, and is now eligible to be one of the two national goalkeeper finalists to travel to Frisco, TX.

Now celebrating its fifth year, Sueño MLS 2011 – presented by Allstate is staged by three MLS clubs, including first-time host, Philadelphia Union, as well as returning hosts Chicago Fire and FC Dallas.  Up to 400 tryout spots are made available at each city on a first come, first served basis.

In each city, players are battling for one of five invitations to a week-long trial with their respective youth development host club and an invitation to the exciting four-day “Final Event” which will be staged for the first time in the greater Dallas area.  The finals will include training sessions, scrimmages, guest celebrity scouts, and an opportunity to meet some of the League’s biggest stars.  The ultimate champion will be crowned on Sunday, May 8, live on “República Deportiva” (see calendar below for more information).

New to Sueño MLS for 2011 is the Allstate “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper award - El Portero Allstate.  One goalkeeper at each of the three local tryouts will be selected as the top goalkeeper, and at least two of the three will be chosen to join the other local finalists at the national final.  “El Portero Allstate” will be selected in addition to the Sueño MLS 2011 - presented by Allstate champion.

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

ABOUT THE CHICAGO FIRE FINALISTS:

Franco Alcocer (Midfielder – 17 years old – Melrose Park, MI) Born in Córdoba, Argentina, Franco 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. Franco’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. Franco 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.

Vicente Jaramillo (Forward – 16 years old – Detroit, MI) A national finalist of Sueño MLS 2010, Vicente was one of the players that stood out in the rain and wind during the first day of scrimmages in Chicago. Jaramillo 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.

Javier Rojas (Midfielder – 15 years old – Warrenville, IL) Javier is a fan of Mexican club Chivas and his favorite player is Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. As a player 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) Juan was spotted by the scouts in the afternoon of the first day of the Chicago 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) Christian 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 Sueño participants for his amazing abilities to deliver pin-point passes to his teammates and put them in a position to score. His father played professionally in Mexico.

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

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"

FC DALLAS FINALISTS (previously announced)

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

PARTICIPANT ELIGIBILITY:

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 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.