FRISCO, Texas — First, there were 400. Now, there are six.
The first weekend of Sueño MLS 2011 – presented by Allstate took place this past weekend at the Pizza Hut Park complex here. After two days of playing, the 400 original contestants were whittled down to six finalists, including one goalkeeper in contention to be named El Portero Allstate.
The six finalists will be unveiled on Univision’s “Republica Deportiva” on Sunday, April 17.
On Saturday, the players, all in their teens, played in 11-v-11 games under the eye of FC Dallas Director of Player Development Oscar Pareja and the FCD Academy coaches. In between matches, the coaches ran the players through possession games, footwork drills, and talk about the rigors of the professional game. At the end of the day, 24 players were invited back for Sunday’s Round 2.
“I think it’s a lot of enthusiasm first for the boys to come and show us what they got,” Pareja said. “I can tell you honestly that there is a separation between one group and the other. I say one group for those guys that have talent and the other that does not as much. But they have that desire and enthusiasm to come and try out and that matters for us.”
Several FC Dallas players made appearances at the fields, including David Ferreira, Milton Rodriguez, Ruben Luna, Fabian Castillo and FCD captain Daniel Hernandez. They spoke with players, offered little bits of advice here and there, and signed autographs.
“There is a very small percentage of kids that make it,” Hernandez said while watching on of the full-field scrimmages. “But you don’t want to not reach for your dreams.
“They have a great opportunity with Sueño MLS. It’s something that I didn’t have growing up. And they have to keep their heads up and keep pushing and striving for that goal if it’s to be a professional soccer player.”
Tune into Univisión's Republica Deportiva on Sunday, April 17, at 11 am ET.