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Sueño MLS Past Winners

Johnny Chavarria (Defender – 16 years old – Las Vegas, NV) - 2014

Chavarria, who was discovered by scouts at the LA Galaxy trials, has been invited to join the LA Galaxy academy team. “Despite is young age, Chavarria proved to be very technical,” said Sueño MLS mentor/coach Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama in a statement. “He is a player with the ability to challenge his opponent when he doesn’t have ball possession; who has good positioning and knows how to read the play.” “It feels amazing, knowing that you are one of the best out of hundreds that tried out,” said Chavarria in a statement. “I just played my game and it all worked out. I hope that this will open more doors, and opportunities. I would like to dedicate this award to my mom, as she has always supported me and my dream.”

Alexander Soto (Midfielder – 14 years old – Elizabeth, NJ) - 2013

Alexander Soto, from Elizabeth, NJ won the 2013 edition of Sueño MLS presented by Allstate. The speedy, center attacking midfielder was the youngest of the D.C. finalists at only 14 years old. Alexander’s idol is FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and his dream is to play for the U.S. Men’s National Team. His best soccer memory is the time when he represented the U.S. in an international soccer tournament in Colombia, his native country. A resident of New Jersey, Alexander’s favorite teams are FC Barcelona and New York Red Bulls. Amongst his long list of soccer accomplishments and championships, Alexander was named MVP of Palisades Park High School’s varsity team. Scouts describe him as an outstanding player with incredible technical skills who has an unbelievable ability to execute free kicks.

Armando Flores - 2012

Armando Flores, from Santa Ana, CA won the 2012 edition of Sueño MLS presented by Allstate. At the time of winning Sueño MLS, Alfonso Mondelo (Technical Director - MLS) said of the young star “Armando impressed us with his speed, skill, vision, courage to go at players one-on-one, solid passing and finishing.” No stranger to high-profile trials, the Santa Ana High School student trained for four months with the Club Atlas (Mexico) reserves after being spotted at a tryout in his hometown. Armando made the Sueño MLS national “Final Event’ despite having to register for the waiting list after all guaranteed spots were filled. When he got the call that he was advancing he said he “felt my dreams were coming true.”

Birnis Adames - 2011

Eighteen-year-old forward Birnis Adames was named the winner of Sueño MLS 2011 – presented by Allstate nationally-televised player search competition, and will receive an invitation to join one of the Philadelphia Union’s youth Academy teams. Born in Santa Cruz de Mao, Dominican Republic, Birnis 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 Union coaches commented that Birnis reminded them of New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry because of his vision on the field.

Anthony Hall - 2011

Sixteen-year-old goalkeeper Anthony Hall was named the “Good Hands” top goalkeeper – El Portero Allstate after a month of competition. He will have a chance to join the FC Dallas Youth Academy. Local FC Dallas winner of Allstate “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper award – El Portero Allstate. A student at Bryan Adams High School, he 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. Anthony reached the local semifinals of Sueño MLS Houston in 2010.

Nelson Castro - 2010

After more than a month of trials, travels, and training, 14-year-old defender Nelson Castro was chosen the winner of Sueño MLS 2010. The native of Houston, Texas, is the youngest winner in the nationally televised player-search competition's four-year history.  Castro, who is of Salvadoran descent, learned the news of his winning during a live broadcast of República Deportiva, the weekly Spanish-language sports show on Univision. Nelson made his Dynamo Academy debut in fall of 2010.
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Alberto Lopez - 2009

Born in Mexico, 17-year-old Alberto Lopez from Aurora, IL, fulfilled his dream by becoming the National Champion of Sueño MLS 2009 and securing a spot with the Chicago Fire Juniors. The attacking midfielder scored 18 goals last season for East Aurora High School, and plays club for the Aurora Warriors, both modest teams where he had never had the opportunity to be noticed by scouts.

Gabriel Funes - 2008

The son of a professional Argentine soccer player Miguel Funes stood out amongst tough competition and over 2,000 participants during the 2008 Sueño MLS try-outs. Scoring the lone goal for the Sueño Team against the FC Dallas U-17 Team, Funes was crowned National Champion of Sueño MLS 2008. While part of FC Dallas youth team, Funes was granted the opportunity of a trial with Chelsea FC. Although a deal was not reached with Chelsea, River Plate's '92 category was in England during these try-outs and offered him a try-out with the Argentine club River Plate. Today, Gabriel is an undisputed member of the starting line-up for River Plate in the Primera División Argentina.

Briant Reyes - 2008

Born to parents from El Salvador, Briant Reyes attended Downey High School in the Los Angeles area. Reyes scored a goal in a crucial Sueño MLS trial match, played by the five Los Angeles Finalists and Chivas USA's U-16 Team, against the Chivas USA's U-15s on Friday, March 21.

Jorge Villafaña - 2007

The versatile Villafaña is the longest serving member of Chivas having joined the first team on July 25, 2007. Villafaña first joined Chivas USA through the U-19 Team in March 2007, after he was officially named the winner of ‘Sueño MLS: Chivas USA Wants You!’, a nationally televised open tryout held by Chivas USA and Major League Soccer. A native of Anaheim, California who played at Anaheim High School, Villafaña spent his childhood in Pénjamo, Guanajuato (México), before returning as a teenager to Southern California. Formerly known as Jorge Flores, Villafaña recently changed his last name in honor of his mother, who raised Jorge on her own. Making his debut on Sept. 9, 2007, in six seasons with the club, Villafaña has made 66 appearances (48 starts), scoring six goals.

Internationally, Villafaña was a regular in the United States U-20 National Team and early in 2012, he received his first call-up to the U-23 Team Training Camp, squad that was part of the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament. With the U-20 team, Villafaña made more appearances with the team than any other player in 2008, and was called in to many camps and tours with the U-20 squad in 2009 and 2010. Villafaña, who plays both left back and at left midfield with the team, helped the U.S. qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt, and played in all three games (two starts) in the U-20 World Cup in late September/October 2009. Full Bio »