DALLAS / Chester, Pa. (May 8, 2011) – Birnis Adames, a talented 18-year-old forward from Camden, NJ, was announced today as the champion of the nationally-televised player search Sueño MLS 2011- presented by Allstate. Adames started playing soccer only four years ago and made it to the “Final Event” after trying out with Philadelphia Union. Adames will receive an invitation to join one of the Union’s Youth Academy teams, since Camden, NJ, is part of the area which houses the club.
Anthony Hall from Dallas, Texas was named the “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper - El Portero Allstate.
SEE: Final Event photos
“We've always known the Greater Philadelphia region is full of exceptional soccer talent”, said Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. “It’s now time to provide players such as Birnis Adames the environment to live their dream and play at PPL Park some day for the Union. Congratulations to Birnis for taking this important step towards his dream.”
WATCH: Adames profile from Philadelphia tryouts
Adames, born in Santa Cruz de Mao, Dominican Republic, was one of 16 national finalists among field players. He emerged from 1,200 aspiring players who participated in regional tryouts in Dallas, Chicago and Philadelphia. The “Top 18”, including the three goalkeepers, gathered on May 4 in Dallas for four days of intense pro-style training sessions, scrimmages against the FC Dallas Under-16 and Under-18 teams and various media activities – all under the guidance of two-time MLS head coach and current Major League Soccer Technical Director, Alfonso Mondelo.
Assisting Mondelo as “celebrity scouts” were United States World Cup legend and former MLS player Marcelo Balboa, Mexican icon Joaquin Beltran and former Mexican National Team goalkeeper Adolfo Rios.
"Birnis Adames showed a lot of consistency over the four days in Dallas,” said Mondelo. “He is a player who took advantage of the opportunities he had. He scored four goals in two games and showed he is up for big challenges. Adames is very fast, has good height and he's got nose for the goal, plus he became an instant leader who quickly organized the group and joined them together.
The Sueño MLS champion showed great excitement when receiving the trophy.
"I'm very happy and even though I won the competition, I couldn't have done it without the rest of the team," said Adames. "I can honestly say that I'm going to give my best to become a professional. The most important out of all this is that now I have 17 friends throughout the country."
Adames was officially presented as the winner today, May 8, live on “República Deportiva", the popular Univision weekly Spanish-language sports show that chronicled the events in a “reality show within a show” format. Together with Adames, Hall, 16, was officially presented the “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper - El Portero Allstate award. Hall will now have the opportunity to join the FC Dallas Youth Academy.
"Anthony is a very vocal goalkeeper, with a strong personality to organize the defense. His abilities with his hands as well as his feet are outstanding", said Rios.
"It was very tough, because the other two goalkeepers were really good but I want to thank the coaches for all their support and advice which allowed me to stand where I am right now," said Hall. "We became good friends with Gianluigi [Nardoni] and Ian [Chacon], and I'm not going to forget the moments we shared."
Since its inception in 2007, Sueño MLS has given thousands of talented young athletes a chance to showcase their skills and impress youth development scouts. The original winner, forward Jorge Flores of Anaheim, Calif., is now entering his fifth year with Chivas USA. He also represented the United States Under-20 National Team at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. The 2008 FC Dallas Sueño MLS winner, Gabriel Funes Mori, played with the FC Dallas U-18 team before moving to Argentina’s legendary side River Plate, and later starred on the Argentine Under-20 National Team. The 2010 winner, Nelson Castro, is currently one of the leaders of the Houston Dynamo’s U-16 team.
ABOUT BIRNIS ADAMES (Winner, Sueño MLS 2011- presented by Allstate):
HOMETOWN: Camden, NJ
REGIONAL TRIAL: Philadelphia Union
HIGH SCHOOL: Eastwood Academy
FAVORITE PLAYER: Ronaldinho
NOTES: At the Philadelphia trials, he quickly caught the attention of the Union scouts who regard him as one of the best prospects in the competition. The Ronaldinho and FC Barcelona fan is an outstanding athlete with great speed, which assisted in his four goals in two games against FC Dallas youth teams at the Finals. His older brother, Chanel, played for the Dominican Republic’s Under-17 National Team, and was a key factor in Adames’ decision to change his focus from baseball to soccer. At the local tryouts, the Union coaches commented that Adames reminded them of New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry because of his vision on the field.
READ: Adames Makes a Splash at Sueño MLS
ABOUT ANTHONY HALL (2011 Winner, “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper - El Portero Allstate):
HOMETOWN: Dallas, Texas
REGIONAL TRIAL: FC Dallas
HIGH SCHOOL: Bryan Adams High School
FAVORITE PLAYER: Ronaldinho
NOTES: Hall once managed to stop four penalty kicks during the final match of a youth championship, allowing his team to win the competition. A tall and very vocal goalkeeper, his ability to lead and organize the defense from his goal impressed the local scouting group. At the “Final Event”, Hall played two games against the FC Dallas Academy and managed to keep his goal scoreless. Hall also reached the local semifinals of Sueño MLS Houston in 2010, and with the 2011 focus in the “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper - El Portero Allstate program, Hall’s talent stood out during the Finals.
Photos of Birnis Adames, Anthony Hall and the Sueño MLS 2011 official logo will be available later today at the following MLS media FTP.
SUEÑO MLS - ALL-TIME WINNERS
Year Name Home Town Position Host Team
2007 Jorge Flores Anaheim, CA Forward Chivas USA
2008* Gabriel Funes Mori Arlington, TX Forward FC Dallas
2008* Briant Reyes Downey, CA Midfielder Chivas USA
2009 Alberto Lopez Aurora, Ill Midfielder Chicago Fire
2010 Nelson Castro Houston, TX Defender Houston Dynamo
2011 Birnis Adames Camden, NJ Forward Philadelphia Union
*Co-winners in 2008