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Sueño MLS: Barros Schelotto stresses player development

CARSON, Calif. — Fulfilling a dream doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It needs support.

For the young hopefuls participating in Sueño MLS 2012 – presented by Allstate, some stars of the game provide that support.

This week, as the Sueño MLS players took part in the Final Event, Argentine legend and former Columbus Crew attacker Guillermo Barros Schelotto made an appearance and worked with the young players.

“It’s a great opportunity for these kids,” Barros Schelotto said. “In the end, they’ve all already won something, the chance to show off their skills for professional teams like Dallas, Seattle and Chivas USA.”

Barros Schelotto, who came up through the youth club program of Argentina, is now an ambassador for MLS. He says the differences in the US system mean a program like Sueño can help develop players for the league.

“This in the end will benefit the league because new talent means growth and progress,” Barros Schelotto said. “It’s great to hear many of these kids coming back each year, getting a little further each time. It’s a great incentive for the youth in the United States.”

Barros Schelotto wasn’t the only former MLS star out on the fields. Five-time MLS champion Jeff Agoos also watched the players going through the paces, keeping an eye out for a special player with the potential to be a pro. For him, Sueño MLS is tapping into pools of players not usually captured by MLS’ academies.

“This is a big country and there are still a lot of states we have not touched,” he said, “so this is a great opportunity for MLS to go out and find some of the best talent out there.”

One of the best talents MLS ever saw, of course, was Barros Schelotto. So where does his future lie? The 2008 MLS Cup winner has previously expressed his desire to coach at a professional level, and would be open to an opportunity here in his adopted country.

“I want to coach and as of now I’m waiting for the opportunity, be it here in Major League Soccer or in another league,” he said. “But in the end, I’d like to return with my family to live in the US.” 

Watch Univision's Republica Deportiva on Sunday to find out the Sueño MLS winner!