[FOUR THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ...] Salvadoran-born Maikon Orellana is one of the top players in the Development Academy.
The Real Salt Lake AZ striker was a 2011 U-17/18 Development Academy Best XI selection and has already scored 10 goals this season. El Salvador reportedly has him on its radar as a candidate for its
U-23 team that will face the USA in Concacaf Olympic qualifying. For four things to know about Orellana ...
MARADONA FAN. Orellana, who goes by the nickname "Mickey," was born in Chalatenango, El Salvador, and his family settled in Provo, Utah. He joined RSL's local academy at the age of 13 and played two seasons at Provo High School. He is a big fan of Diego Maradona and former Brazilian star Leonardo as well as, of course, Magico Gonzalez, the greatest Salvadoran player in history. What he shares with all three players is that he is left-footed.
SUENO FINALIST. Orellana's first big break came in 2009 when he drove from Utah to San Bernardino for the regional tryouts of 2009 Sueno MLS, the reality show. He was one of four players from the tryouts to qualify for the final event televised on Univision. Later in the year, he was invited for a tryout at Real Madrid but unable to accept.
DREAM MOVE. After playing for RSL at the 2010 SUM Cup competition for MLS academy teams, Orellana was invited to join the RSL AZ team in residency at Grande Sports World in Arizona. He jumped at the chance to move to Arizona even if the transition wasn't easy. “It’s hard being away from my family," he told realsaltlake.com, "but this is my dream. It’s what I want to do. I can’t be sad about it.”
UNDER-23 CANDIDATE. Orellana was not on the 22-player squad El Salvador brought into training in Maryland to prepare for Concacaf Olympic qualifying, but it is reported to be considering adding Orellana for the group stage in Nashville, Tenn. Two other American-bred players are on the team: former U.S. U-17 Dustin Corea and former Evansville and CSU Bakersfield midfielder Richard Menjivar.