“Sueño MLS,” Major League Soccer's reality-television search for untapped talent, returns to Home Depot Center this year, and Chivas USA is one of three participating clubs.
The Goats staged the program's greatest success story, unearthing inaugural winner Jorge Villafaña, who's in his sixth season with the club and currently off with the U.S. under-23 national team trying to nail down an Olympic berth.
Tryouts begin next month for the seventh edition of “Sueño MLS,” and the final stage, with five players each from events staged by the Goats, FC Dallas and the Seattle Sounders, will be held in Southern California with a winner declared May 13 on Univision's “Republica Deportivo.”
Players ages 14-18 (born May 14, 1994, through April 13, 1998) are eligible, and up to 500 tryout slots will be available with each of the three MLS clubs. Registration began Sunday at the “Sueño MLS” website. Chivas tryouts are scheduled for April 28-29. http://www.mlssoccer.com/sueno
The winner will join his sponsoring club's youth academy, and the top goalkeeper will train with an MLS club. Former Columbus Crew star Guillermo Barros Schelotto, a Boca Juniors legend who won MLS's MVP award in 2008, and retired Mexican goalkeeper Adolfo Rios will work with the finalists in the So Cal camp.
Villafaña (Anaheim/Anaheim HS), 22, is the only “Sueño” winner to make an MLS roster, but 2009 co-winner Gabriel Funes Mori, who emerged from FC Dallas tryouts, plays in Argentina for River Plate. Downey's Briant Reyes (D0wney HS), who shared the 2009 title with Funes Mori, played at Cerritos College and last fall for Kansas Wesleyan University.
Chivas participated in the 2007 and 2008 events and the Galaxy in 2009 and 2010. Last year's clubs were Chicago, Dallas and Philadelphia.