[MLS] Dominican Republic native Birnis Adames, who started playing soccer only four years ago, won the Sueno MLS 2011, the league's talent contest, and will receive an invitation to join one of Philadelphia Union’s academy teams.
Adames, 18, was one of the national finalists among 15 field players, who emerged from the 1,200 players who participated in regional tryouts in Dallas, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Anthony Hall from Dallas was named the “Good Hands” top goalkeeper ("El Portero Allstate") in competition with the other two national finalists.
The finalists gathered on Wednesday in Dallas for four days of intense pro-style training sessions and scrimmages against the FC Dallas under-16 and under-18 teams.
Major League Soccer Technical Director Alfonso Mondelo coached the players.
"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 and crafty, 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."
Adames' older brother, Chanel, played for the Dominican Republic U-17 national team and was a key factor in Birnis’ decision to change his focus from baseball to soccer.