FRISCO, Texas — In a game where there are 22 players on the field moving at all times, it can be difficult to stick out to scouts, coaches and fans. But for striker Birnis Adames, his brightly colored shoes reflect his game.
And his personality.
The 18-year-old who lives in Camden, New Jersey, knows that the opportunity to play for a Philadelphia Union youth team doesn’t come around very often.
“It’s a great opportunity that MLS gave us,” Adames told MLSsoccer.com after a training session during the final tryout for Sueño MLS 2011 – Presented by Allstate. “I feel happy to have this experience and also calm.”
For Adames—who was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States at age six—this weekend gives him one more chance to show MLS coaching staffs his skill set.
“Well, as a player and as a forward it’s about scoring goals,” he said. “I want to have the chances to score goals and I like to receive the ball, dribble against the defense, and create opportunities.”
In two matches against FC Dallas Academy teams, Adames lit up the pitch scoring four total goals. His ability to take on a defender one-on-one in the final third is just one of the characteristics he possesses. His speed, ball skill, and most importantly his self-confidence have coaches grinning from ear to ear over his potential.
“He is very aggressive and he is very athletic,” said US national team legend Marcelo Balboa. “He puts himself in pretty good positions to try to get the ball, to try to get in behind the defense and score goals and that’s important.
“You want players with personality. You want players that want the ball, demanding the ball, and the guy wants to score goals. It’s something that’s a good quality in the kid.”
Balboa added that Adames goes by the nickname “Hollywood” for the electricity and flair that he displays on the field. The tall, gangly player with long chops for sideburns wears bright, orange shoes to let his presence on the field be known to all.
“I like to call attention to myself as a player,” Adames admitted. “The shoes are very comfortable but I like bright shoes that reflect a little bit and call attention.”
Adames may get credit for his goal-scoring prowess but his older brother Chanel deserves the credit for introducing him to the game.
Birnis preferred baseball to soccer before Chanel, a former member of the Dominican Republic U-17 national team, convinced him that soccer was the route to take.
“He was a player in the Dominican Republic and he taught me how to play the game,” Birnis said of his brother. “He plays as a center forward and I try to imitate him, and now I think my level is getting better.”
WATCH: Adames profile from Philadelphia tryouts