D.C. United to participate in Sueño MLS 2009

Washington, D.C. (March 8, 2009) - D.C. United announced today the club will participate in this year’s edition of Sueño MLS 2009 - built by The Home Depot. Tryouts will take place at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, MD on Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22. Among the scouts evaluating talent will be former United star Raúl Díaz Arce and D.C. United Director of Youth Development John Maessner.

“We are thrilled to be participating in Sueño MLS 2009,” said United General Manager Dave Kasper. “The two-day open tryout session is a unique opportunity for local players to showcase their talent in front of our scouts and we look forward to identifying talented players who have the potential to make it to the professional level.”

Starting today, Sunday, March 8, at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT), hopefuls will be able to register via www.SuenoMLS.com for an opportunity to participate in the premier search for undiscovered soccer talent in the United States. The tryouts and personal stories will be chronicled weekly by Univision’s popular weekly sports show, “República Deportiva” (Sports Republic).

Now in its third year, Sueño MLS expands to three markets, including for the first time cities in the Midwest and East Coast. The Chicago Fire, DC United and the LA Galaxy will each host tryouts, with four local winners from each city moving on to an exciting four-day “Final Event” in Los Angeles. The finals will include training sessions, scrimmages, guest celebrity scouts, and an opportunity to meet some of the league’s biggest stars at the “SuperClasico” game between the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA on April 11. The ultimate champion will be crowned on Sunday, April 12, live (EST) on “República Deportiva” (see calendar below for more information).

Since its inception in 2007, Sueño MLS has given thousands of talented young dreamers a chance to showcase their skills and impress professional scouts. The original winner, forward Jorge Flores of Anaheim, Cal., is now a staple on the Chivas USA roster, and a regular member of the United States Under-20 National Team. The 2008 FC Dallas Sueño MLS winner, Gabriel Funes, played with the FC Dallas Juniors U-18 team before moving on to River Plate’s U-18s in Argentina. River Plate is one of FC Dallas’ international partners.

Individual success has not been limited to the winners. Four finalists from the FC Dallas 2008 tryouts are currently playing for the club’s youth teams. Two of Chivas USA’s 2007 finalists, Omar Becerra and Jose Diaz, earned spots on the team’s U-16 squad, and have since graduated to the U-18 team. Diaz also earned a call-up to the U.S. Under-18 National Team.

“The expansion of Sueño MLS to three markets underscores the success of the program and the positive response we have received from youth players around the country, and in particular within the Hispanic community,” said Kathryn Carter, Soccer United Marketing’s Executive Vice President. “This year we have added a new feature to this program with the 12 local winners coming together in Los Angeles for four days of intense competition. From that group we hope to find the next Jorge Flores, who has become a beacon of hope for young Hispanic players everywhere.”

Sueño MLS 2009 - Built by The Home Depot, kicks off the weekend of Saturday, March 21 with two days of open tryouts in Washington, DC, hosted by DC United. The program moves to Los Angeles on March 28, and on to Chicago on April 4. Specific tryout locations will be announced at a later date. Each coaching staff will invite four local winners per city to Los Angeles, April 8-12 for the “Final Event”, where a host of league scouts and celebrity guests will be on hand to provide guidance and select the ultimate winner in front of a live national television audience.

This season, up to 600 tryout spots will be made available at each city on a first come, first serve basis. In past years, spots have filled up in only a few hours following the start of registration. A waiting list will be available for those who are not able to register for the initial spots.

“República Deportiva,” the highest-rated weekly sports magazine program on Spanish-language television in the United States which airs nationally every Sunday, will follow the action weekly in a unique “reality show within a show” format.

2009 TIMELINE

March 8 Live launch announcement on República Deportiva
March 21 - 22 Local market tryouts - Maryland SoccerPlex (D.C. United)
March 28 - 29 Local market tryouts (Los Angeles Galaxy)
April 4 - 5 Local market tryouts (Chicago Fire)
April 9 - 12 Four-day “Final Event” in Los Angeles
April 12 Announcement of winner live on República Deportiva

PARTICIPANT ELIGIBILITY:

Eligible players must be at least 16 years old (with appropriate identification) and retain their amateur status. Current collegiate student athletes will not be permitted to attend the final event in Los Angeles. Sueño MLS participants will be responsible for all personal expenses associated with the local market tryout, including travel to local tryouts, lodging, food, soccer equipment (shoes, training gear, etc.), etc. Program sponsors will cover all expenses for twelve (12) participants selected to attend the final event in Los Angeles, CA. For more information, please visit www.SuenoMLS.com . Participation in the event is free. Players may not register for more than one city.

About Major League Soccer

Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada and features many stars from the U.S. and around the world. Having recently finished its 13th season, MLS will have 15 teams in the 2009 season, which begins March 19: the Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Toronto FC and, in its inaugural season, Seattle Sounders FC. A Philadelphia expansion team will debut in 2010. For more information about MLS, log on to the League’s official Web site at www.MLSnet.com .

About D.C. United

Headquartered in Washington, DC and playing home matches at RFK Stadium, D.C. United is the most successful professional soccer organization in the history of the United States. United is four-time MLS Cup Champions (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004) and winners of the 1996 and 2008 U.S. Open Cup, the 1998 CONCACAF Champions Cup, the 1998 Interamerican Cup and the 1997, 1999, 2006 and 2007 MLS Supporters Shield. United is one of 15 teams comprising Major League Soccer, joining CD Chivas USA, the Chicago Fire, the Colorado Rapids, the Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, the Houston Dynamo, the Kansas City Wizards, the Los Angeles Galaxy, the New England Revolution, Red Bull New York, Real Salt Lake, the San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC. The League’s 16th team, based in Philadelphia, will begin play in 2010. For the latest headlines and official information on the Black-and-Red, logon to www.dcunited.com.

When speaking of the organization, please refer to the team as either “D.C. United” or “United,” but not “the D.C. United” or “the United.” We appreciate your cooperation.
Doug Hicks, dhicks@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5448,
Boris Flores, bflores@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5452,
Kyle Sheldon, ksheldon@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5450 or
Cristina Cruz, ccruz@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5440