On the morning of August 27th, Heron Martinez traveled north to the San Bernardino Soccer Complex. Upon arrival, he would have the opportunity to compete against 500 other players for a chance to play in the Powerade Sueno Alianza National Showcase in Miami, FL.
Heron had been familiar with Alianza de Futbol. As a matter of fact, Heron attended the same tryout in 2015. During last year’s tryouts, Heron had been selected, but only to the top 20 players pool. That was all to be said in 2015.
Fast forward to the 2016 tryout.
Heron checked in at 8am, received his wristband, warmed up, and got to work. The tryouts consisted of 2-3 high-level, scrimmage-type games. The players are evaluated by the attending scouts, including Rafael Calderon, National Director of Scouting. “If a player shows individual talent, we are impressed.” Rafael goes on to say, “However, how they combine their individual talent with other players they are essentially competing with, is when the players really start to stand out. Putting pride aside to win games, really impresses scouts.” During the tryout on Saturday, the players are competing for a chance to play again on Sunday.
Heron’s individual talent definitely showed on Saturday as he found the back of the net in the first game. Heron was then asked to return again on Sunday. After playing in 3 more games during Sunday’s tryout, Heron got what he came for! Heron was chosen as one of the 3 players for his age group (U19 team).
By being selected as one of the top 3 players, Heron has earned himself an all expense paid trip to Miami to compete in the Powerade Sueno Alianza National Showcase!
Alianza de Futbol is a program created to give talented soccer players around the country, who may not otherwise have the means or opportunity, a chance to compete at a high level. Since 2008, Alianza de Futbol and Powerade Sueno Alianza have been partnered together to help give talented Hispanic soccer players another avenue to be seen by the top scouts in the United States and Mexico. Powerade Sueno Alianza made it possible to hold 12 tryouts in 12 cities.
Throughout the entire tryout process, over 5000 players are evaluated. Of these 5000, only 3 are picked from each tryout. The players selected form 3 teams, a U16, U19, and recently added U22 team, that will compete and play in the Powerade Sueno Alianza National Showcase in Miami, FL. In Miami, the teams will play in front of 20 top scouts from MLS, La Liga, USL, and the United States and Mexico National Teams. These scouts can offer opportunities for players to come and train at their respective facilities for a more intimate tryout for their academy teams.
“The Program is called SUENO for a reason…”
Alianza de futbol would not be possible without the support from players and their coaches. Rafael Calderon stated, “We are very thankful for the coaches that support our program, for good players to have the support from their coaches is quite beneficial. The program is called SUENO for a reason, we want these players to be able to follow their dreams of playing soccer at a high level – and we take pride in being part of that dream.”
Oceanside Breakers Director of Coaching Frank Zimmerman, Heron’s coach, and his teammates have also played a big part in supporting his success. Heron, who is currently on the Oceanside Breakers B98 Black team, ranked 3rd in Cal South and 11th in Region IV, had 2 California Regional League (CRL) games the same weekend as the tryout for Alianza. “When Heron approached me with missing our CRL games for this tryout, I was supportive, however, I was not completely aware of the end result of the tryout.” Coach Frank Zimmerman goes on to say, “We both knew he was making the best decision for himself, and after being selected, we now know it was the right call.”