Marie Egan of Littleton Crowned National Champion of Sierra Mist MLS Dribble Pass & Score Program

FRISCO Texas (ColoradoRapids.com)- The National Finals of the Sierra Mist MLS Dribble Pass & Score competition the largest national grassroots soccer skills competition in the country were staged Saturday during the 2005 MLS Cup Weekend at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco TX.

The six youth soccer players who were crowned champions were honored with their National Championship medals during halftime of MLS Cup 2005.

The six age-group winners including one Colorado Rapids supporter represented five different MLS teams. The following are the names of the six DPS National Champions along with hometown and age group:

Amir Bashti -- Menlo Park CA -- 8-9 Boys
Sarah Waldo -- Bedford IN -- 8-9 Girls
Konnor Tranoris -- W. Des Moines IA -- 10-11 Boys
Katie Hadfield -- San Jose CA -- 10-11 Girls
Scott Poole -- Lumberton TX -- 12-14 Boys
Marie Egan -- Littleton CO -- 12-14 Girls

The following are brief bios of the winners:

8-9 YEAR OLD BOYS NATIONAL CHAMPION: Amir Bashti 8 Menlo Park CA - Amir was a winner in his first ever season of DPS. While he hopes to emulate his favorite MLS players Craig Waibel and Pat Onstad on the soccer field he also enjoys chess and backgammon.

8-9 YEAR OLD GIRLS NATIONAL CHAMPION: Sarah Waldo 9 Bedford IN - Sarah excels in softball basketball and tennis and now she has a Sierra Mist DPS gold medal to add to her trophy case. She is active in Indiana Youth Soccer where she recently won a Fair Play Award with her team Orbit.

10-11 YEAR OLD BOYS NATIONAL CHAMPION: Konnor Tranoris 11 West Des Moines IA - A DPS veteran Konnor successfully defended the title he won at MLS Cup 2004 in Los Angeles. His club teammates from The Thunder would be proud as would his MLS idol Josh Wolff.

10-11 YEAR OLD GIRLS NATIONAL CHAMPION: Katie Hadfield 10 San Jose CA - A first time DPS participant Katie made it from her local competition in Santa Clara CA all the way to MLS Cup 2005. Katie is a dedicated fan of the Earthquakes and her favorite player Pat Onstad.

12-14 YEAR OLD BOYS NATIONAL CHAMPION: Scott Poole 14 Lumberton TX - Scott was thrilled to be crowned a DPS National Champion in his home state. He was recently voted Team MVP of his his club team Swindletop Select. When he's not on the field he loves playing guitar and drums.

12-14 YEAR OLD GIRLS NATIONAL CHAMPION: Marie Egan 12 Littleton CO - Marie is a fan of her hometown club the Colorado Rapids. If she could add one player to the Rapids it would be her idol Freddy Adu whose soccer skills she has copied to great effect. Her DPS National Finals championship will be a source of great pride for her team the Pulse and her entire hometown youth soccer club the Colorado Soccer Academy.

The Colorado Rapids congratulate Marie as well as the three other local Colorado kids who advanced all the way to the Finals at MLS Cup: Austin Vang of Northglenn Gabrielle Miranda of Highlands Ranch and David Armstrong of Aurora.

The Sierra Mist MLS Dribble Pass & Score program provides young players ages 6-14 the opportunity to test their skills in three basic areas of soccer: dribbling passing and shooting.

The 24 finalists from around the country earned an all-expense paid trip to Frisco for the National Finals after advancing past three previous levels of competition within their local markets. Upon emerging from Local and Sectional Competitions they moved on to the Team Championship with the top four scorers nationwide in each age division winning the opportunity to compete in the DPS National Finals at MLS Cup 2005.

Sierra Mist recently finished its second year as the official sponsor of the MLS Dribble Pass & Score (DPS) program. Since the program kicked off in 1998 (as MLS Dribble Pass & Shoot) over one million youth soccer players have participated in the free competition designed to test core soccer skills. The name of the program was eventually altered to Dribble Pass & Score which sends the proper message about the ultimate objective of the sport of soccer: scoring goals.

Sierra Mist is the refreshing lemon-lime soft drink brand from Pepsi-Cola North America an Official Sponsor of Major League Soccer since the League's inception in 1996. Sierra Mist the title sponsor of the 2005 Sierra Mist All-Star Game is also the annual presenting sponsor of the League's Goal of the Year Award which honors the best goal-scoring effort in the regular season.

To learn more about the Sierra Mist MLS Dribble Pass & Score Program CLICK HERE.