And then there were 25.
That’s how many players are still standing in the world of Sueño MLS. But in the end, only one will survive and earn the opportunity to latch on to an MLS club youth academy.
Over 2,000 players participated in the Sueño events held in Houston, Chicago and Los Angeles in recent weeks. Five finalists from each venue will all meet in L.A. for the Sueño MLS Finale from May 5-9.
The winner among those 15 will be announced live on Univision’s nationally televised República Deportiva on May 9. He will join the elite company of past Sueño winners including current Chivas USA left midfielder Jorge Flores and Gabriel Funes Mori, who currently plays forward for River Plate in Argentina.
The five finalists advancing from the Houston tryouts are listed below. República Deportiva will air the names of the five finalists from Chicago and Los Angeles on April 25 and May 2, but the remaining contestants are listed below.
Nelson Castro: The 14 year-old defender from Houston is a Salvadoran-American and currently attends the 9th grade at Eastwood Academy.
Juan Contreras: A 16 year-old left-footed midfielder who was born in Guadalajara, but resides in Dickinson, Tex. He is a junior at Dickinson High School.
Eric Martinez: The 15 year-old freshman from Dekaney High School in Houston is a Mexican-American forward who was an Olympic Development Program selection. His older cousin played for the reserve team of Mexican club Puebla.
Marco Ortiz: A 15 year-old playmaker who has attracted a great deal of attention at the Houston tryouts. The Mexican-American from Crowley, Tex. is a 9th grader and member of the student council at Crowley High School.
Lorenzo Salazar: The 15 year-old midfielder from Houston recently participated in the Dallas Cup. He is a freshman at Austin High School and says he was offered a trial by Mexican club Tigres.
These 10 players have already trained with the Chicago Fire Youth Academy for a full week. The five players from the Chicago group to win a trip to the Sueño MLS Finale will be unveiled on the April 25th edition of República Deportiva.
Jose Andriano (17, Bloomington, Minn.); Cristian Arias (15, Grand Rapids, Mich); Oscar Barraza (16, Elgin, Ill.); Juan Celleri (15, Chicago); Vicente Jaramillo (15, Detroit); Erick Jimenes (15, Chicago); Miguel Moncada (18, Jackson, Tenn.); Jesus Morales (17, Berwin, Ill.); Martin Patiño (14, San Luis Potosi, Mexico); Edgar Villa (16, Chicago)
These 10 players will train with the Galaxy youth squad this week for the right to the five spots available for the Sueño MLS Finale. Their names will air on República Deportiva on May 9.
Dennis Alvarado (16, Fairfield, Calif.); Javier Castro (18, Pomona, Calif.); Marco Granados (17, Pacoima, Calif.); Arturo Gallegos (18, Pomona, Calif.); Dennis Garcia (18, Sacramento, Calif.); Ricardo Guillen (16, Homeland, Calif.); Victor Jimenez (16, Anaheim, Calif.); Jonathan Navas (18, Los Angeles), Luis Perez (18, Los Angeles), Oscar Velazquez (14, Las Vegas, Nev.)