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Sueño MLS 2011 - Soccer American Idol - Chicago Finalists Announced

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If you have ever wondered what it would be like if you combined Fox's hit show American Idol with the sport of soccer, it wouldn't be too far off from Sueño MLS.  Now in its 5th year, Sueño MLS sees corporate sponsors like All-State (technically the full title is Sueño MLS - Presented by All-State) team up with a couple of MLS clubs to conduct tryout sessions for young soccer players.  The Chicago Fire have participated in the past and they participated this year too.  Four hundred kids between the ages of 14 to 18 competed for just five invitations to a week-long trial with the Chicago Fire Academy team.  FC Dallas and Philadelphia Union are also participating and selecting their own five winners.  The winners from each market go on to fight it out over a four-day long ordeal ominously called 'The Final Event'.  One lucky and skilled kid will be crowned ultimate champion live on República Deportiva on Sunday, May 8. 

If you doubt anything will come of this, just take a look at the story of our own Pari Pantzaopoulos.  I think it's great to see these young kids chasing their dreams.  I wouldn't mind seeing all of these battle tested players making our academy squad.  Two are from out of state but the other three are from Melrose Park or Cicero.  Also any event that provides the opportunity to present the 'Good Hands' goalkeeper award gets top remarks in my language usage book.  Say, while Chicago based All-State is sponsoring soccer events, can we interest your company in getting the All-State name on a jersey?  Information and video highlights on the Chicago winners is after the break.





Franco Alcocer



Melrose Park, IL

Vicente Jaramillo



Detroit, MI

Javier Rojas



Warrenville, IL

Juan Salgado



Melrose Park, IL

Chrsitian Soto



Indianapolis, IN

Ian Chacon



Cicero, IL


Franco Alcocer (Midfielder – 17 years old – Melrose Park, MI)

Born in Córdoba, Argentina, Franco moved to the United States when he was only ten years-old. He attends the Provisol Math & Science Academy and his favorite subject is math. Franco’s favorite team is Argentina’s Boca Jrs. and his favorite player is midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme. He is the first in his family to ever play soccer, although they are all very passionate soccer fans. Franco has a keen ability to spread the ball around the field, which according to the Chicago Fire Academy coaches, has allowed him to become a natural playmaker.

Vicente Jaramillo (Forward – 16 years old – Detroit, MI)

A national finalist of Sueño MLS 2010, Vicente was one of the players that stood out in the rain and wind during the first day of scrimmages in Chicago. Jaramillo currently attends Western International High School and has been playing soccer since the age of six. The Detroit, Michigan product considers  Argentinean international and Barcelona midfielder Lionel Messi his favorite player, however, when it comes to his favorite club, Jaramillo prefers Real Madrid. His skills with the ball in a reduced space made him one of the best forwards at the tryouts. His mother Blanca played amateur soccer since she was seven, and  pushed him  to try out for Sueño MLS 2011.

Javier Rojas (Midfielder – 15 years old – Warrenville, IL)

Javier is a fan of Mexican club Chivas and his favorite player is Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. As a player he positions himself well, moving fluidly throughout the midfield and is capable of helping in the attack. Rojas attends Wheaton Warrenville South High School and loves to spend time with his family, especially when soccer is part of the day’s activities.

Juan Salgado (Forward- 17 years old – Melrose Park, IL)

Juan was spotted by the scouts in the afternoon of the first day of the Chicago tryouts, and immediately caught the coaches’ attention. This lethal striker scored four goals in only 20 minutes during the second and final day of his local tryouts. His favorite player is Lionel Messi and his favorite clubs are FC Barcelona and the Chicago Fire. Salgado plays for the Chicago Fire Juniors, attends Provisol East, and is friends with Franco Alcocer, another Chicago Fire Sueño MLS finalist. One of his uncles played in the Mexican third division.

Christian Soto (Midfielder – 15 years old– Indianapolis, IN)

Christian is a talented playmaker who lists Lionel Messi as his favorite player. He also admires Mexican player Cuauhtémoc Blanco, and became a fan of the Chicago Fire when Blanco played for the team. The Center Grove High School student stood out from the rest of the Sueño participants for his amazing abilities to deliver pin-point passes to his teammates and put them in a position to score. His father played professionally in Mexico.

Ian Chacón (Goalkeeper – 14 years old – Cicero, IL) –Local Chicago Fire winner of El Portero Allstate “In Good Hands®

Ian was recognized as the top goalkeeper at the Chicago Fire local try-outs, and will compete for the national El Portero Allstate “In Good Hands®award. Born in Coahuila, Mexico, the 14 year old is a tall goalkeeper who uses his height as an advantage. Chacon currently studies at Unity Junior High School, and belongs to a family of amateur goalkeepers. His favorite player is Spanish World Cup champion Iker Casillas, and believes that one day he will join him as part of the soccer elite. Although  shy, Chacon stands out once he puts on the gloves and vocally manages a team’s defense. The most impressive aspects of his game, according to the coaches, are his ability to distribute the ball to anywhere on the field, and his composure when facing a 1-on-1 with older forwards

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