TUKWILA, Wash. -- Despite the fact that the odds are against him — and that his knee was hurting — Federal Way native Luis Álvaro Osornio is hopeful. What other option does he have?
The 17-year-old who heard about Sueño MLS presented by Allstate through a friend, signed up for the tryout on a whim and quickly stood out, catching the eye of the Seattle Sounders’ player development staff, particularly that of Youth Director Darren Sawatzky.
“The number one word we all talked about was ‘potential,’” Sawatzky explained. “You look at players and you quickly notice their desire to accomplish their dream. The step between being a youth player and a pro player is substantial, and I think despite the fact of his hurt knee, Luis showed us some of these qualities.”
During the tryout, Osornio admitted to playing through the pain.
“I had an injured knee throughout the tryout but I knew I couldn’t give up because this is a once in a life time opportunity,” Osornio said. “This is my dream and nothing is going to stop me. I want to keep going as far as I can and hope that one day in the near future, I can become a professional soccer player.”
Born just one year before MLS’s inaugural season, Osornio’s desire and dream of one day stepping on the pitch as a pro goes back as far as his early childhood. At every moment, he pictured himself making a career in professional sports.
“Ever since I was a little boy, I always had a ball at my feet,” he told MLSsoccer.com. “So these last few days have been a big inspiration as far as one day reaching my dream of playing for a pro team, a dream that has become a bit of an obsession for me.”
As opposed to many of the Sueño participants, Osornio’s parents aren’t big soccer fans. They never took his professional goals seriously. But they also didn’t get in his way.
“My parents aren’t really big sports fans and never took me serious as far as my wishes of becoming a professional soccer player,” he explained. “So it’s quite gratifying to have had this opportunity with Sueño MLS. I feel like I’ve already accomplished something great.”
Well, not yet. He’s still in the running for the Final Event in Los Angeles, but it isn’t confirmed yet. That could come this Sunday, when the Seattle finalists are announced on Univision’s “Republica Deportiva.”
For now, Osornio is just grateful for the chance to take part, particularly meeting Sounders players Fredy Montero and Josh Ford.
“Our talks with [Sounders] Josh Ford and Fredy Montero were very inspiring because at one point they were like us,” Osornio said. “They were aspiring young soccer players chasing a dream."