Sueño MLS - presented by Allstate descends on Los Angeles, and Clint Mathis is impressed

Sueño MLS 2013 - Goalkeepers in LA

Photo Credit: 
MLSsoccer.com

CARSON, Calif. – A sea of hundreds of hopeful youngsters invaded the Home Depot Center on Saturday to embark on their journey of chasing the dream of Sueño MLS - presented by Allstate.

The LA Galaxy began their turn to host the nationally televised event for the third time since it was introduced back in 2007. 

Only 30 participants were chosen (see list below) to come back on Sunday to battle for one of the six available invites - five field players and one goalkeeper - to the four-day National Finals. The total of registered of aspiring young players and on the waiting list capped at least 1,500.

With eyes on them from the sidelines, the players showcased their skills, hoping to impress the scouts, including Galaxy legends Clint Mathis and Ante Razov, as well as Alex Yi and Kevin Eagleston. Felix Fernandez, former Mexican international goalkeeper, was in charge of the 41 goalkeepers, picking three to move on.

Eagleston, the youth director for the LA Galaxy’s South Bay Force FC, an alliance club with players that run ages from 8-12, looked at the dynamics of the games with a perspective that players were probably not aware of. 

“You can tell a player with the movement off the ball," he said. "Everybody today at this level had the technical ability to play; some other ones had the technical ability to think. That’s the big difference. So, the movement off the ball is what I liked to look at, their playing and their moving, instead of just movement with the ball."    

Mathis said that there were no specific criteria in his mind, and he was pleasantly surprised with some of the talent on display. 

“We were talking about how the players read the game," he explained. "Tactically, are they in good position or not? Are they physically fast or have good feet? They can pass well, there are so many different things you can look into a player but also is dependent on what kind of player we need for those particular teams.”

Mathis also added that the competition allows widening the search of players and makes it available for unfound talent that might not be able to afford other ways. 

“It’s a ‘Where have they been?’ kind of thing," he said. "At the end of the day you want to find those Jose Villarreals, Jack McBeans, Oscar Sotos...  LA is such a huge market and to have an event like this and have so many kids come out and see if maybe there’s a diamond in the rough.”

 

List of players moving on for Sunday:

GK Heriberto Becerra
GK Alexis Ramos
GK Benny Diaz
RF Victor Balanzar
CF Miguel Ocegueda
CF George Zúñiga
CF Edsel Corcuera
CF Jonathan Cervantes
LF Jessie Echeverria
DM Erick Bermudez
DM Carlos Torres
DM Raul Piñon
LM Joshua Varon
LM Jairo Thomas
OM Daniel Crisostomo
OM Victor Hernandez
OM Bryan Suarez
RF Jorge Gutierrez
RF Yosh Carrillo
CF Genaro Corona
CF Christian Pinzon
CF Heven Gomez
CF Edgar Villalpando
CF Eduardo Anguiano
CF Noel Gonzalez
LF Josue Soto
LF Jesus Fernandez
LF Juan Quezada
LF Saiaz Saenz
LF Carlos Ayala