HISD student wins national MLS competition at age 14

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by the HISD Media Office

khou.com

Posted on May 11, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 11 at 3:09 PM

HOUSTON

– HISD’s Eastwood Academy ninth-grade student Nelson Castro was welcomed with cheers and hugs by his classmates at school today. The 14-year old defender was named the winner of the national soccer player search Sueño Major League Soccer 2010 competition, built by The Home Depot, over the weekend.

"I am really happy that I won out of so many players," he said. "I never thought I’d even get to the final two. I just love playing soccer and gave it all on the field, I think that maybe helped me out."

"The Eastwood Academy family is extremely proud of Nelson’s accomplishments," said Principal Rolando Treviño. "We look forward to helping him maximize his academic and personal responsibilities by building on his strengths and background. Nelson has put an added touch to our athletic expertise."

Castro was one of 15 national finalists selected out of 2,000 aspiring players who participated in a series of tryouts in Houston, Chicago and Los Angeles. Castro, of Salvadorian descent, became the program’s youngest winner ever. He will join one of the Houston Dynamo’s youth academy teams.

"Nelson showed a lot of consistency," said MLS technical director Alfonso Mondelo. "For his age, he has a great sense of positioning and maturity. He organized the defense during games and was very vocal. We loved his tenacity and the way he defends. He has great anticipation and reads the game well."

Castro began playing soccer at the age of 3 with the help of his father and mother. His favorite player is Oguchi Onyewu of the U.S. National Team. His dreams are to play professional soccer and one day play a game in the world cup.

Since its inception in 2007, Sueño MLS has given thousands of talented young dreamers a chance to showcase their soccer skills and impress youth development scouts.

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