For six teenagers, this weekend will probably be the best one in their soccer-playing lives.
Over 400 players between the ages of 13 and 16 will gather in Los Angeles this weekend as the 2016 edition of Sueño MLS officially gets underway with tryouts at the Bell Gardens Sports Center on Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10.
Here's how it will work: All registered players will get to participate in a tryout hosted by LA Galaxy coaches and scouts on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time. Over 400 players have already pre-registered for Saturday's session, but unregistered players can also walk up to the event and be placed on a waiting list, which will fill vacancies on a first-come, first-serve basis.
By the end of Saturday, scouts and coaches will whittle the field down to 22 field players and three goalkeepers, who will get invited back for a longer tryout on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. local time.
LA Galaxy players Dan Kennedy (Saturday) and Jeff Larentowicz (Sunday) will be on hand as will Mexican goalkeeping legend Adolfo Ríos, who will train and mentor the participating goalkeepers as well as host a free public goalkeeping clinic and autograph session.
A total of five field players and one goalkeeper will win a ticket to the Sueño MLS National Finals and they'll find out their names on Univision’s República Deportiva which will be live on location at Bell Gardens with Univision Deportes correspondent Aly Villegas.
The Sueño MLS National Finals will be held at StubHub Center, home of the LA Galaxy, from May 4 to May 7 and will feature six players from each of the Sueño MLS tryouts in LA, New York and Portland. The top goalkeeper will be named El Portero Allstate, while the three best field players will earn a trip to Miami, Florida, where the Sueño MLS winner will be announced live on República Deportiva on Sunday, May 22. Both the Sueño winner and the El Portero Allstate will win a spot on their local MLS team’s academy.
Now in its 10th year, Sueño MLS has discovered several top-notch players who became pros or MLS academy players. The most renowned of the bunch is current Santos Laguna defender Jorge Villafaña, who won the inaugural Sueño MLS in 2007 and played for Chivas USA and won an MLS Cup title with the Portland Timbers in MLS.