Alexander Soto, a 14-year-old forward from Elizabeth, N.J., has been named the winner of Sueño MLS 2013 – Presented by Allstate, the nationally televised search for the best young soccer player in the country. He is the youngest player to ever win the competition.
In addition, Luis Aranzazu, a 17-year-old goalkeeper from Pembroke Pines, Fla., has won the Allstate “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper - El Portero Allstate. Both players, discovered at the D.C. United open tryouts, have been invited to join an MLS club's Academy Team.
The announcement was made on Sunday from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., live on Univision Network’s República Deportiva, which has chronicled the competition in a “reality show within a show” format.
“Alexander showed great vision and an ability to make a difference on the field,” said Sueño MLS mentor/coach and MLS technical director Alfonso Mondelo. “He has the skill to make the last pass or to score, qualities you find in players like [former MLS MVP and FC Dallas midfielder] David Ferreira.”
ALL YOU NEED TO TO KNOW ABOUT SUEÑO MLS 2013
“I’m very proud and will keep chasing my dream of becoming a professional soccer player,” said Soto. “I would like to dedicate this award to my family and those that have inspired me and continue to do so.”
“Aranzazu is a goalkeeper who works hard and brings serenity to his penalty area with solid positioning, sure hands and a great personality,” said Allstate “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper - El Portero Allstate mentor/coach and host of Repubica Deportiva Felix Fernandez.
The two winners were among the 18 national finalists, including 15 field players and three goalkeepers, who were in Southern California for four days of competition and mentoring by top soccer legends, including former Colombian World Cup playmaker, Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama, former US national team defender and World Cup veteran Jeff Agoos, Mondelo and Fernandez. The finalists were chosen from the nearly 3,000 players who registered for the open trials held by D.C. United, Colorado Rapids and LA Galaxy.