DALLAS (Monday, April 23, 2011) – Major League Soccer and FC Dallas announced today the names of five talented young field players and one “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper - El Portero Allstate finalist who will represent the team at the national “Final Event” of Sueño MLS 2012– presented by Allstate. The nationally-televised player search is showcased on República Deportiva, the popular Univision weekly Spanish-language sports show that chronicles the tryouts in a “reality show within a show” format.
The six FC Dallas Finalists are:
|Livan Aguirre||Goalkeeper||14||Brownsville, TX|
|Jose Hernandez||Forward||16||Dallas, TX|
|Pedro Ocampo||Midfielder||17||Sterling, IL|
|Jose Romero||Forward||17||Athens, TX|
|Tony Santibanez||Forward||17||Plano, TX|
|Alfredo Vasquez||Midfielder||17||Athens, TX|
The players were selected for their skills on the pitch and their attitude off the pitch. “In electing these players we valued aspects such as individual character, personality, and attitude,” said FC Dallas youth scout Francisco Arias.
Now celebrating its sixth year, Sueño MLS 2012 – presented by Allstate is being staged by three MLS clubs, including first-time host, Seattle Sounders F.C., as well as returning hosts Chivas USA and FC Dallas. Up to 400 tryout spots were made available at each city on a first-come, first-serve basis.
In each tryout city, field players are battling for one of five invitations to a week-long trial with their respective youth development host club and a ticket to the exciting four-day “Final Event” which will be staged in the greater Los Angeles area and hosted by MLS Argentine soccer legend Guillermo Barros Schelotto. The finals will include training sessions, scrimmages, guest celebrity scouts, and an opportunity to meet some of the League’s biggest stars. The ultimate champion will be crowned on Sunday, May 13, live on República Deportiva (see calendar below for more information).
Returning to Sueño MLS for a second year is the Allstate “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper award - El Portero Allstate. One goalkeeper at each of the three local tryouts will be selected as the top goalkeeper and will also compete in the “Final Event” for the opportunity to be named El Portero Allstate and train with a MLS youth team. El Portero Allstate will be selected in conjunction with the winner of the Sueño MLS 2012 - presented by Allstate, and mentored by Mexican goalkeeping legend Adolfo Rios.
ABOUT THE DALLAS FINALISTS:
Livan Aguirre (Goalkeeper – 14 years old – Brownsville, TX) Local FC Dallas finalist of Allstate “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper award – El Portero Allstate
Livan is the youngest of the Dallas 2012 finalists at only 14 years old, and will be competing for the national Allstate “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper award – El Portero Allstate. He impressed the local scouts with his athleticism and foot skills. A native of Mexico and a student at Stillman Middle School, he lists FC Dallas, Real Madrid and Santos Laguna as his favorite teams. His idol is Real Madrid’s Iker Castillas, and his dream is to play for the Mexican National Team.
José Hernández (Forward – 16 years old – Dallas, TX)
Born in Monterrey, Mexico, José is making his second consecutive appearance at the Sueño MLS “Final Event”. The tall center-forward, who considers Manchester United’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez his favorite player, is a constant threat in the attack. He started playing soccer at the age of five and currently attends Thomas Jefferson High School. He regularly plays against older youth players and adults who admire his scoring abilities and dribbling skills. He is a natural goal-scorer and possesses outstanding technical ability.
Pedro Ocampo (Midfielder – 17 years old – Rockford, IL)
A resident of Sterling, IL, Pedro is the Dallas finalist who traveled the furthest to participate in the program. He drove down with nine other teammates and their youth soccer coach who has guided their playing careers on-and-off since they were four years old. Pedro’s favorite teams are Santos of Brazil and Real Madrid. The Sterling High School scoring machine sports a haircut styled after his idol, Brazil’s Neymar.
Jose Romero (Forward – 17 years old – Athens, TX)
A speedy forward from Athens, TX, it’s no surprise that Jose, lists FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi as his favorite player. He recently completed his soccer career at Athens High School as the team’s third best all-time scorer with 44 goals. He is the high school teammate of fellow Dallas Sueño MLS finalist Alfredo Velazquez.
Tony Santibanez (Forward - 17 years old – Plano, TX)
A tall and skillful attacker, the Plano High School captain is looking to add a Sueño MLS title to his long-list of soccer accomplishments and championships.
Alfredo Vasquez (Midfielder – 17 years old – Athens, TX)
A teammate of fellow Dallas Sueño MLS finalist Jose Romero at Athens High School, Alfredo dreams of being a professional soccer player like his idol, Real Madrid’s Christiano Ronaldo. He lists Chivas Guadalajara as his favorite team.