[MLS]Alberto Lopez, a 17-year-old midfielder from Aurora, Ill., won the Sueno MLS 2009 competition, MLS's nationally televised player search that attracted 1,800 candidates at tryouts in Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington.
Lopez's performance at the Chicago finals was cut short when he left the field with a tight hamstring, but his play was so impressive that the scouts had already made up their mind and booked his trip to Los Angeles.
Lopez, who will receive an invitation to join the Chicago Fire Juniors, was one of 12 national finalists who gathered for four days of training sessions, scrimmages against the Galaxy and Chivas USA U-18 teams and various media activities.
MLS Technical Director Alfonso Mondelo and celebrity scouts Teofilio Cubillas, Marcelo Balboa and Martin Zuniga evaluated the finalists for the tryouts chronicled on Univision's on "República Deportiva."
"Alberto showed strong technical skills and a keen ability to read the game," said Mondelo. "He is a player with great potential and qualities that, if polished, could make him an MLS player one day."
Lopez was officially presented as the winner today, Sunday, April 12, live (EST) on "República Deportiva" (Sports Republic), the popular Univision weekly Spanish-language sports show that chronicles the tryouts in a "reality show within a show" format.