It’s the stuff of sports dreams: An amateur makes it to an All-Star event and captures the imagination of an international audience.
That’s precisely the opportunity achieved by two lucky (and capable) amateur EA FIFA players, Jason Bonilla and Adrian Mendieta, who qualified for the inaugural eMLS All-Star Challenge presented by Wells Fargo in Atlanta.
Jason Bonilla, who goes by gamertag whyalwaysme71110, won Sunday's open qualifier, and Adrian Mendieta ("Adrian141510") won on Tuesday.
eMLS All-Star Challenge Open Qualifier winners Jason Bonilla (L) and Adrian Mendieta. | MLSsoccer.com
The two eMLS All-Star Challenge Open Qualifiers featured a 64-player, single-elimination bracket, with the winner claiming a spot in the eMLS All-Star Challenge, $500 and two tickets to MLS All-Star Game.
eMLS All-Star Challenge
After winning the Open Qualifiers, Bonilla and Mendieta join a 16-player field that includes eight eMLS players, an MLS player, a European challenger and four celebrity guests in the eMLS All-Star Challenge tournament.
The 16 players will be paired to form eight teams (more details to follow) and Wells Fargo will make a $5,000 donation to the charity of the winning team.
Here's the full list:
- US Amateur (July 29 Open Qualifier winner): "whyalwaysme71110" – Jason Bonilla
- US Amateur (July 31 Open Qualifier winner): "Adrian141510" – Adrian Mendieta
- Landon Donovan
- Waka Flocka
- EA FIFA Personality: MattHD
- EA FIFA Personality: Spin Bro Drew
- EA FIFA Personality: Spin Bro Mike
- eMLS player: “Buck” – Connor Buckley (Colorado Rapids)
- eMLS player: “AlanAvi” – Alan Avila (FC Dallas)
- eMLS player: “Kid M3mito” – Guillermo Trevino (Houston Dynamo)
- eMLS player: “GGGodfather” – Giuseppe Guastella (LA Galaxy)
- eMLS player: “Mike LaBelle” – Michael LaBelle (NY Red Bulls)
- eMLS player: “didychrislito” – Christopher Holly (NYCFC)
- eMLS player: “Doolsta” – Cormac Dooley (Philadelphia Union)
- eMLS player: “Stojkovic” – Nenad Stojkovic (Columbus Crew SC)
- Atlanta United MLS Player: Julian Gressel
- Juventus Amateur: Hiram David