A ‘sueño’ come true
Back in 2007, Jorge Villafaña was just another kid that liked to play soccer. His last name wasn’t even Villafaña, but Flores. Being born in Anaheim, Calif., but raised in Pénjamo, Guanajuato until his teenage years, Villafaña returned to Southern California. Once here, he played with his school’s soccer team, Anaheim High School. Back then his plans were to graduate high school, go to college and work hard to help his mom.
Then ‘Sueño MLS’ came along. Little did he know that participating in a nationally televised show would change his life.
“I didn’t think I was going to win,” said Villafaña. “I thought it was a cool contest and that I was going to give it my all, but winning never crossed my mind.”
On March 25, 2007, among 2,000 other contestants, Villafaña was named the first ‘Sueño MLS’ winner, earning him the invitation to Chivas USA’s U19 squad. Then in the same year on July 25, Villafaña joined the first team, making his debut on Sept. 9 of the same year. Now on his sixth year with the club, Villafaña has made 59 appearances (39 starts), scoring five goals.
Ever since joining the First Team, Villafaña has been named on various occasions to the United States U20 National Team, and most recently participated in the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament with the U23 squad. While with the U20’s Villafaña had the opportunity that, without being named winner of ‘Sueño MLS’ and hard work, he might have never had the opportunity to do. In 2008, he had the most appearances with the youth squad, and helped the team qualify to the 2009 FIFA U20 World Cup in Egypt, where he played all three games, starting two.
“My advice to this year’s participants is to give it all they got. This is an opportunity you don’t get every day and if you work hard and make the effort, you’re going to get where you want to be,” concluded Villafaña.
Think you got what it takes to become a professional soccer player? Sign up for this year’s Sueño MLS LA tryouts by clicking here.